Face-to-face bullying is more cruel and harsh than online attacks, a survey of school students found. The findings of this study indicate that significantly more victims perceived traditional bullying to be more harsh and cruel than cyberbullying. “It clearly indicates the feelings of the children and the very real threat they have of being physically harmed by another child,” the lead investigator said.
The study showed 59 percent of the children participants felt face-to-face bullying was worse for them than being cyberbullied. Twenty-six per cent reported that both forms of bullying were equally hurtful and the remaining 15 per cent perceived cyberbullying to be worse.
“Children reported being scared and very worried by the attacks but it was interesting to find a majority of them were embarrassed that others were witnessing their victimization as it occurred,” Professor Campbell from QUT’s Faculty of Education said. Also, “the perceptions of the students challenged a number of suppositions presented in other literature that attempted to explain why cyberbullying was associated with more negative outcomes than traditional or face-to-face bullying”.
She said many students noted that it was their ability or inability to take some form of action in response to their victimization that was a defining reason as to why they perceived their experiences as they did. Also, taking action against the person who cyberbullied them took the form of deleting a message or ‘blocking’ a bully.
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