Analyzing Patterns Within Academic and Legal Definitions: a Qualitative Content Analysis of the Term "Cyberbullying" Page: 27
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Vandebosch and Cleemput (2008) conducted focus groups with 279 students that
ranged from late elementary to late high school. Students noted that they viewed
cyberbullying as explicitly meant to be hurtful, and was different than simple teasing or
joking, which was meant to be funny. The students, however, did mention that the lines
between intent and perception could be blurred. Students also spoke about the issues of
personal attack and that that perception of victimization was related to relationship
between the persons involved. For example, receiving a computer virus from a stranger
was not considered bullying whereas being threatened was. This issue, in particular, may
have implications for this study as the participants peer ecological system is explored.
Students also "mentioned spontaneously" the issue of repetition was a strong factor in the
decision to label an instance of cyberbullying. Students in the study also made a link to
victims and power imbalances. In particular, they stated that power was created by
anonymity, and that victims were traditionally seen as weaker in real life. Therefore,
cyberbullying was characterized students in this study as the intent to hurt, repetition of
abuse, and an imbalance of power. The students' perceptions of power imbalance add
credence to the selection of critical theory as the paradigmatic foundation of the present
study. It is notable that students themselves were able to articulate and identify a
significant critical issue such as power imbalance between the bully and victim or recipient.
2.2.2 Cyberbullying Rates
Research has indicated that somewhere between 9% and 40% of students have
been cyberbullied (Baren and Li, 2007; Hinduja & Patchin, 2008, 2011; Kowalski & Limber,
2007; Li, 2006, 2007a; 2007b, Patchin and Hinduja, 2006, Ybarra & Mitchell, 2004a; Ybarra
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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/m1/28/: accessed June 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .