Analysis of cyberbullying sensitivity levels of high school students and their perceived social support levels

Ahmet Oguz Akturk (Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technology, Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya, Turkey)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 20 April 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine the cyberbullying sensitivity levels of high school students and their perceived social supports levels, and analyze the variables that predict cyberbullying sensitivity. In addition, whether cyberbullying sensitivity levels and social support levels differed according to gender was also investigated. While current communication technologies such as mobile phones, the Internet and social network sites provide new opportunities for learning and interaction, they may also pose a threat to personal security. The rapid increase in access to information and communication technologies by young people can also cause those technologies to be used for bullying their peers – called cyberbullying.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, the cyberbullying sensitivity levels of high school students and their perceived social support levels were determined, and some variables (perceived social support, gender and academic success) which predicted sensitivity related to cyberbullying were analyzed. A total of 433 students studying in a large public high school located at the middle part of Turkey voluntarily participated in this study.

Findings

The findings of this research show that both the cyberbullying sensitivities of the students and their levels of the perceived social support were high and that both the cyberbullying sensitivities of the female students and their perceived social support levels were higher than the ones of the male students. Based on the result of stepwise regression analysis that investigate the predicting factors related to cyberbullying sensitivities of the students, perceived social support was found to be the strongest predicting factor.

Originality/value

It can be seen that most young people have little information about cyberbullying and they lack information about basic e-security applications. Accordingly, most young people are victims or potential victims of cyberbullying. In conclusion, to remove victimhood due to cyberbullying or reduce it to a minimum from an optimistic point of view, not only risky processes but also how the environment should protect young people from developing incompatible behaviors and how to increase their sensitivity should be taken into consideration. It may be said that the findings that we obtained in our research may contribute to relevant studies from the point of developing preventive programs against cyberbullying.

Keywords

Citation

Akturk, A. (2015), "Analysis of cyberbullying sensitivity levels of high school students and their perceived social support levels", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 44-61. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITSE-07-2014-0016

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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