Fighting Cyberbullying with Technology: Anonymous Reporting Access Impact on Student Perceptions of School Climate

Eleanor Rose Smith, Fordham University

Abstract

Bullying, including cyberbullying via electronic communication platforms, persists as an issue leading to myriad negative outcomes for students. Student perceptions of positive school climate and increased reporting have been linked to a reduction in bullying. Yet, safety is an issue of concern for students in reporting bullying and cyberbullying. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of access to an anonymous reporting platform on perceived school climate and on reporting and incidents of bullying. Middle school students (6th-8th grade) of two private schools (N = 122) were assigned to treatment (School T) and control (School C) group conditions. School T was given access to the anonymous reporting app STOPit for a 16-week intervention period. Students responded to an inclusive survey before (pretest) and after (posttest) the intervention to assess the effect of access to the anonymous reporting app STOPit on the dependent variables of: (a) reporting behaviors; (b) bullying and cyberbullying experiences; and (c) school climate perceptions. Quantitative (MANOVA) and qualitative data analyses were conducted. Results indicated two of three initial null hypotheses were accepted; several limitations were noted due to breaks in study design fidelity and other unexpected outcomes. Qualitative reports collected from both groups provided valuable data on potential ways to reduce bullying and on the link between the three dependent variables of interest.

Subject Area

Behavioral psychology|Educational psychology|Psychology

Recommended Citation

Smith, Eleanor Rose, "Fighting Cyberbullying with Technology: Anonymous Reporting Access Impact on Student Perceptions of School Climate" (2019). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI13880100.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI13880100

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