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Development of parent education resource materials to reduce cyberbullying

The Child Health Promotion Research Centre at Edith Cowan University have been awarded a significant research grant by the Telstra Foundation to develop and implement a parent education intervention program designed to reduce the incidence of cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is a psychologically cruel form of covert relational aggression used primarily by adolescents to inflict harm on others through electronic and digital media, such as: e-mails, chat-rooms, mobile phones, websites, web-cams. Our previous research on cyber bullying demonstrated that many young people feel that cyber bullying is far more harmful than face-to-face bullying. Some reasons for this include the finding that nearly 50% of those bullied indicated they did not know who was doing the bullying; because many found it hard to get away from the bullying which now followed them into their home, and because more young people claim they would bully others more often using technology and that they could be nastier than they could be face to face.

This project responds to an expressed need from parents of school-age children to help them to help their children use virtual social networking technology more safely and to ideally prevent or cope more effectively with bullying should it occur when children are online or using their mobile phone. The formative strategies outlined in this proposal are designed to determine from parents and their 10-15 year old children the usefulness of a home-based education intervention that aims to build parents’ computing skills capacity and their self efficacy to address factors that support and protect children.

The intervention will comprise two key components: 1) strategies to help improve parents understanding of, and capacity in, the use of social networking technology used by their children, and 2) strategies to increase their awareness of potential harms and provide practical actions parents cause to reduce cyber bullying, or to support their children if they are bullied through the use of this technology.

Objectives

This research project aims to develop a written / electronic intervention resource to strengthen the capacity of parents to communicate with children about virtual social networking and cyberbullying.

Key Outcomes / Findings

The Telstra Cyber Friendly Parenting Project is currently in its first year and as such, no data are yet available for release.

Benefits of the Research

This project is part of a world first research program addressing cyberbullying. The outcomes from this project aim to significantly reduce the incidence of cyber bullying.

Project duration

2008 – 2010

Funding body

Telstra

For further information about this project please contact Kate Hadwen at k.hadwen@ecu.edu.au.


Researchers

Professor Donna Cross
Ms Melanie Epstein
Dr Lydia Hearn
Associate Professor Stacey Waters

Staff

Professor Donna Cross
Ms Melanie Epstein
Ms Kate Hadwen
Ms Ashley Adair
Ms Sarah Falconer
Dr Debora Brown
Dr Julian Dooley

Child Health Promotion Research Centre
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