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Inside Teaching : August 2010
Inside Teaching | June 2010 RESEARCH 48 and Gross. Clearly, further evidence is required as to the methods young people rely on most, and the extent to which they have been effective. Although the amount of published data from Australia has increased since we began our BoysTown study, it’s still somewhat limited. For this reason, our study aims to extend knowledge, particularly about the use and perceived effectiveness of coping strategies, as defned by young people themselves. Additionally, BoysTown wanted to better understand the prevalence and impact of cyberbullying in Australia, and the extent to which it occurs simultaneously with traditional bullying. Initially designed to inform the service response of Kids Helpline counsellors, BoysTown also wanted to provide evidence to inform young people, parents, schools and government about the nature of cyberbullying in Australia and the type of strategies that could be developed to effectively address this issue. The study Our sample consisted of 548 self-identifed cyberbully victims aged under 25 years, sourced primarily from the Kids Helpline website and email counselling service. Of those 548 cyberbully victims, 447 were female, a female bias that’s typical of Kids Helpline help-seeking trends but representative of national help- table 2 Extent to which offine strategies were considered helpful by participants seeking trends. The majority were aged 10 to 14 years – 50 percent–or15to18years–42 per cent – again, typical of Kids Helpline help-seeking trends. The majority of participants reported victimisation during the period associated with the transition from primary school to high school. Of the 548 young people surveyed, 49 per cent experienced cyberbullying when aged 10 to 12 years, 52 per cent when aged 13 to 14 years, and 29 per cent when aged 15 to 16 years. Interestingly, the majority of older cyberbullying victims also reported being cyberbullied when aged 13 to 14 years. Across the sample, the most common ways in which cyberbullying occurred were by email – 21 per cent; through online chatrooms – 20 per cent; on social networking sites – 20 per cent; and with mobile phones – 19 per cent. Other websites – eight per cent – and other forms of texting, such as Twitter – six per cent, were also reported. In our BoysTown study we also found that social networking sites became the dominant form of cyberbullying in victims aged 13 and older, increasing in prevalence from 41 per cent in 13- to 14-year olds to 53 per cent among 15- to 16-year olds, with that prevalence highest –57percent–among17-to 18-year-olds. For 10- to 12- year olds, the most common methods for cyberbullying were chatrooms – 48 per cent – and