Gender differences in cyberbullying: Starting points for interventions

Justine Walker, Debora Jeske

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review

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In 2011-12 there were 2,410 reported cases of cyberbullying (“Cyberbullying ‘on the rise’ – ChildLine”). However in 2012-13 this figure has almost doubled to 4,507 cases. This shows that bullying is an ever growing form of victimisation in the UK. The goal of the current study was to explore the extent to which the likelihood with which a witness/bystander will intervene in a bullying incident is influenced by group size (the number of bystanders), the setting (Cyber vs. traditional bullying), and gender of the bullying victim. Using an online survey method, participants were presented with different bullying scenarios. A total of 82 students evaluated the 8 scenarios. The reports from female participants suggested that they would be more likely to intervene when witnessing cyberbullying than the male participants. No such gender difference was observed in terms of offline bullying. Higher altruism was also associated with higher likelihood of participants stepping in. Past bullying experience, group size and the gender of the victim did not influence the likelihood with which participants would intervene. Some research limitations apply. All measures were collected using self-report, which may lead to more socially desirable responding. Due to uneven group sizes, heterogeneity of variance was an issue in some analyses. Despite these issues, the research adds value to the current literature on bullying. Specifically, the present findings suggest gender differences which are specific to context (cyberbullying). Knowing about gender differences may be helpful in the development of interventions aimed at reducing cyberbullying by motivating more bystanders to intervene.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2015
Event6th Annual Conference of the BSPID (British Society for the Psychology of Individual Differences) - York, UK
Duration: 10 Apr 2015 → …


Conference6th Annual Conference of the BSPID (British Society for the Psychology of Individual Differences)
Period10/04/15 → …
Internet address


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