Online social networking and the experience of cyber-bullying.

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ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKING AND THE EXPERIENCE OF CYBER-BULLYING.

Abstract

Online social networking sites (SNS) are popular social tools used amongst adolescents and account for much of their daily internet activity. Recently, these sites have presented opportunities for youth to experience cyber-bullying. Often resulting in psychological distress, cyber-bullying is a common experience for many young people.

Continual use of SNS signifies the importance of examining its links to cyber-bullying. This study examined the relationship between online social networking and the experience of cyber-bullying. A total of 400 participants (Mage=14.31 years) completed an online survey which examined the perceived definitions and frequency of cyber-bullying. Users of SNS reported significantly higher frequencies of stranger contact compared to non-users.

Spearman's rho correlations determined no significant relationship between daily time on SNS and the frequency of stranger contact. This suggests that ownership of a SNS profile may be a stronger predictor of some cyber-bullying experiences compared to time spent on these sites. Findings encourage continued research on the nature of internet activities used by young adolescents and the possible exposure to online victimization.

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