Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Toby Jenkins-Henry

Abstract

A rapidly growing and destructive phenomenon among today’s adolescent students is cyberbullying, a malicious use of the easy and widespread accessibility of electronic devices and the internet. Whereas traditional bullying typically involves and is known to only a few people, cyberbullying allows perpetrators to spread cruel information to a large audience in a short amount of time, typically via social media. Cyberbullying has negative results for adolescents at school, even if it occurs outside of school hours. With the growing inclusion of technology, specifically social media, in education, educating students on responsible technology usage is more important than ever. This quantitative case study investigated 23 students’ knowledge of social media responsibility and the relationship between social media responsibility and cyberbullying. All participants were high school freshmen in a suburban school district near Charleston, South Carolina. Students completed questionnaires before and after attending a series of presentations, on social media responsibility and cyberbullying, including social media applications, laws on cyberbullying, school policies on social media and cyberbullying, and resources and interventions for those victimized by cyberbullying. The results supported continued research into the importance of integrating presentations into the curriculum for the following purposes: (1) education on social media responsibility encourages appropriate usage in interacting with others, (2) presentations provide iv intervention and resources for students who are victims of cyberbullying. This study may inform educators who seek to create a positive atmosphere in their own schools through promoting positive social media interactions and decreasing incidents of cyberbullying.

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