Title

Social Media, Online Cruelty and Cyberbullying: Update on the Youth Perspective

First Presenter's Institution

Prevention/Intervention Center

Second Presenter's Institution

N/A

Third Presenter's Institution

N/A

Fourth Presenter's Institution

N/A/

Fifth Presenter's Institution

N/A

Location

Scarbrough 2

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Safety & Violence Prevention

Relevance

Dr. Agatston conducted youth focus groups with students in 2017 that suggest that youth need training in social-emotional skills in navigating social media and dealing with bullying, thus relating to strands 1 and 2. She will also share her work in using Restorative Practices to prevent and address bullying and cyberbullying as part of a social emotional learning framework.

Brief Program Description

Dr. Agatston will share findings from her focus group interviews with youth on the topic of social media and cyberbullying. These highlights include the youth perception of an increasingly blurred line between bullying and cyberbullying as well as some surprising views on helpful versus unhelpful responses to cyberbullying and online cruelty. She will highlight the need for prevention and response strategies that emphasize social and emotional literacy. Objectives: 1. participants will understand cyberbullying and online cruelty from the youth perspective. 2. Participants will recognize how social emotional literacy skills are even more critical for our digital world. 3. Participants will be introduced to a restorative framework that can both help prevent and address bullying and cyberbullying. Target audience: educators and youth serving organizations.

Summary

In this session Dr. Patti Agatston will share findings from her 2017 focus group interviews on cyberbullying and online cruelty with middle and high school youth in Georgia.

While participants shared that online drama or cyberbullying can erupt suddenly, the vast majority of both middle and high school participants’ view the online bullying and drama occurring in reaction to things that happen in ongoing relationships and between peer groups. In addition,the youth stressed the need for in person resolution of cyberbullying and online cruelty that involves social emotional literacy (SEL) skills rather than technological solutions. The fluidity of their relationships, the fact that most online bullying is in reaction to or related to in person relationships suggest that our solutions for both prevention and response should be person centered and SEL-based. Yet often our approaches to preventing and addressing online bullying are fear-based, punitive, or technologically-based.

Dr. Agatston is a Licensed Trainer in Restorative Practices and has experience using Restorative Conferences to resolve bullying and conflict both online and in person. She will share how Restorative Practices, a promising approach to managing conflict, addressing bullying, and improving school climate, can meet the need for a social emotional framework that will help improve school community by building relationships, managing conflict, and repairing harm whether it takes place in person or online. She will share case examples and give participants an opportunity to reflect on how they can apply these findings to their current work in schools or in youth serving organizations.

Evidence

While restorative approaches to bullying and cyberbullying are often discussed as a promising approach, there is little research currently to demonstrate their effectiveness specifically to the area of cyberbullying. However the use of family conferencing has been found to be helpful for victims of other forms of crime and thus Langoes and Sarre (2015) make the case for family conferencing as a restorative justice approach to cyberbullying intervention. Two-thirds of the victims who participate in family conferencing report a greater sense of security and feelings of closure after conferencing. (Joudo-Larson, 2014) They also report less fear and anger and more sympathy for offenders. While family conferencing has provided positive outcomes for victims in other forms of crime, we need further research to determine if the positive outcomes will transfer to family conferences that involve cyberbullying situations. The presenter will share her case examples where restorative conferencing has brought positive resolution to school discipline challenges that involved in person and online bullying and conflict.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Agatston is co-author of the book, Cyberbullying: Bullying in the Digital Age with Robin Kowalski, Ph.D., and Susan Limber, Ph.D. and has co-authored a chapter for the book, Expert Perspectives in Cyberbullying. She is also co-author of the Cyber Bullying Prevention Curriculum for Grades 6 – 12 and the Cyber Bullying Prevention Curriculum for Grades 3 - 5. Dr. Agatston is a certified national trainer for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and a licensed trainer for Restorative Practices. She has been quoted in articles on cyberbullying in The Washington Post, CNET news, Time Magazine, and the Christian Science Monitor. She has appeared on CNN as well as other local and national radio and television programs to discuss cyber bullying and other youth online risky behavior. She was a participant in the CDC’s Expert Panel on Electronic Media and Youth Violence, and has presented nationally and internationally on cyberbullying.

Dr. Agatston is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Prevention Specialist with the Cobb County School District’s Prevention/Intervention Center in Marietta, Georgia. She is the current President for the International Bullying Prevention Association and serves on the Board of Directors for Net Family News and the iCanHelpline social media helpline for schools.

Keyword Descriptors

cyberbullying, bullying, online cruelty, youth perspective, SEL, social emotional literacy, restorative practices

Presentation Year

2018

Start Date

3-7-2018 11:15 AM

End Date

3-7-2018 12:30 PM

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Mar 7th, 11:15 AM Mar 7th, 12:30 PM

Social Media, Online Cruelty and Cyberbullying: Update on the Youth Perspective

Scarbrough 2

Dr. Agatston will share findings from her focus group interviews with youth on the topic of social media and cyberbullying. These highlights include the youth perception of an increasingly blurred line between bullying and cyberbullying as well as some surprising views on helpful versus unhelpful responses to cyberbullying and online cruelty. She will highlight the need for prevention and response strategies that emphasize social and emotional literacy. Objectives: 1. participants will understand cyberbullying and online cruelty from the youth perspective. 2. Participants will recognize how social emotional literacy skills are even more critical for our digital world. 3. Participants will be introduced to a restorative framework that can both help prevent and address bullying and cyberbullying. Target audience: educators and youth serving organizations.