Analyzing Patterns Within Academic and Legal Definitions: a Qualitative Content Analysis of the Term "Cyberbullying" Page: 26
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analysis of this study. A complete list of the definitions used in this study can be found in
As studies continue, it is expected that these definitions will evolve as evidenced
between Willards' 2007 and 2011 definitions. However, there is yet to be a commonly
accepted definition shared by theorists and researchers in the field; therefore, we should
expect to see contradictory or inconsistent studies in the field. Additionally, there exist
variations in the definition of cyberbullying among students (Grigg, 2010). In the event that
an operational definition is not provided to the participant of a study, students' individual
definitions may lead to variations in results as well. Depending on the study, these
variations in student's perception could be valuable constructs for the researcher;
however, if a student is expected to report whether they have been bullied based on his or
her own perception of what cyberbullying is, the results may indeed be invalid, or at least
18.104.22.168 Student Definitions
Not only do different operational definitions exist among researchers, but other
studies have suggested that the students themselves have greatly varying definitions of
what constitutes cyberbullying. A study by Grigg (2010) illuminated that people, adults
included, had varying definitions of the term, and a few of her participants did not know
what the term meant. Participants in this qualitative study indicated that the term
cyberbullying was not particularly useful as it did not seem to extend to other instances of
abuse such as cell phone aggression. Grigg indicated "These feelings were the same across
age generally, and gender, among school children" (p. 151).
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Winn, Matthew R. Analyzing Patterns Within Academic and Legal Definitions: a Qualitative Content Analysis of the Term "Cyberbullying", dissertation, August 2013; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283860/m1/27/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .