‘[Cyber]bullying is too strong a word…’: Parental accounts of their children's experiences of online conflict and relational aggression

Catherine Page Jeffery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The problem of cyberbullying has been the subject of considerable media attention in Australia and has been framed as a crisis threatening the wellbeing of Australian youth, provoking a comprehensive policy and legislative response to the problem. Definitions of cyberbullying, however, remain contested and there is a lack of nuance in public debates about cyberbullying. This article draws on interviews and focus groups with forty Australian parents to determine parents’ anxieties, perspectives, and experiences in relation to cyberbullying, a perspective that has remained relatively under explored. This study found that while online conflict, exclusion and relational aggression appear common amongst young people, parents in this study eschewed the term cyberbullying, instead characterising negative online peer interactions as part of ‘normal’ child development. This paper demonstrates that a more nuanced understanding of negative online behaviours is needed. The findings have particular relevance to policy makers and organisations tasked with addressing cyberbullying.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalMedia International Australia
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Oct 2021

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