Vol 3-2 Mini Review

Childhood Access to Technology and Cyberbullying

Elizabeth Englander

Bridgewater State University

Developmental factors and cyberbullying have not been a major focus in the field; most strikingly, the experiences that young children have with technology have been studied far less, relative to their adolescent peers. Prevalence estimates comparing younger and older children are problematic for several reasons; first, researchers have no consensus definition of cyberbullying, and second, prevalence estimates vary so widely that drawing conclusions is difficult. Access to technology is only another factor among several that likely influences the prevalence of cyberbullying, and it appears to vary with age. Access to cell phones and digital technology in adolescence is related to both victim availability and prevalence of cyberbullying itself. Among younger students, those under 12 years old, one study has found that cell phone ownership increases the risk of being both a cyberbully and a cyberbully/victim significantly. One factor that may mediate the impact of cell phone ownership is education on the appropriate and accurate use of digital technology. This type of education has been neglected in elementary schools, but evidence suggests it may be helpful in reducing cyberbullying.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2940/2019/2.1136 View / Download Pdf
Vol 3-2 Commentary