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Safer Internet Centre

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New Research Highlights from the UKCCIS Evidence group about excessive social networking and cyberbullying

Today sees the launch of three new Research Highlights from the UKCCIS Evidence Group summarising recent research from Nottingham Trent University about excessive social networking and from Beatbullying about cyberbullying from both a teacher and pupil perspective.

Research Highlight 30: Excessive social networking and young people Mark Griffiths, Nottingham Trent University (Jun 2012)

A systematic literature review was carried out examining excessive social networking addiction among children and adolescents. The available research indicated that social networking by adolescents is a highly popular and prevalent activity, but only a very small minority appear to suffer problems as a result. It also highlighted some predictors of excessive use. One study of teenage students found that high-level usage (defined as using social networks at least four times per day) was significantly predicted by self-identity and belongingness. Another study of teenage students indicated that high extraversion and low conscientiousness scores predicted both addictive tendencies and time spent on social networks.

There are also two Virtual Violence II research papers from Beatbullying – their second large-scale research study of cyberbullying among 11-16-year-olds in the UK - one from a pupil perspective and the other from a teacher perspective:

Research Highlight 31: Virtual Violence II: Progress and Challenges in the Fight against Cyberbullying (Pupils) (Jun 2012)

The report from a pupil perspective provides statistics about the prevalence of cyberbullying among 11-16 year olds, and the reasons why young people may cyberbully others, as well as the negative effects for those who are cyberbullied and how they respond to it. The young people also called for more support from industry and educators, with 46% saying there is a need for better reporting mechanisms, and 30% calling for more education generally in this area.

Research Highlight 32: Virtual Violence II: Progress and Challenges in the Fight against Cyberbullying (Teachers) (Jun 2012)

The report from a teacher perspective sheds further light on the cyberbullying of teachers by pupils, parents and staff. There is a real need for more support in this area: a third called for more education and training for teachers, a third called for more education among parents, and a quarter called for more education among pupils.

Any teachers who are experiencing cyberbullying, or would like further support in tackling cyberbullying in their schools, can contact the UK Safer Internet Centre’s Helpline, which provides advice about esafety issues for professionals working with children in the UK.

Childnet's Digizen website has resources for young people, including the Let's Fight It Together film, as well as advice for teachers and parents about preventing and responding to cyberbullying.