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A Cyberbullying Intervention for Hong Kong Chinese College Students

Abstract

A cyberbullying intervention was developed and empirically tested with 137 Hong Kong Chinese College students. The intervention was designed to change students’ attitudes about cyberbullying behavior and increase their awareness of cyberbullying. Participants were assigned to an experimental or control group. They completed questionnaires before the intervention (Time 1; T1), immediately after the intervention (Time 2; T2), and again eight weeks later (Time 3; T3). The experimental group participated in a 1-h intervention where they were presented with a simulated Facebook page showing the helpless feelings of cyber-victims, watched video clips of the consequences of cyberbullying, and engaged in small group discussions and a self-reflection writing task. Results showed that participants who received the intervention experienced an increase in their awareness and had more negative attitudes toward cyberbullying (i.e., the perception that cyberbullying is unacceptable behavior) than did the control group. In addition, those who reported being highly engaged in the intervention maintained the positive effects at the 8-week follow-up. The results demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of a short-term cyberbullying intervention for college students and that level of participant engagement contributes to its effectiveness.

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Acknowledgements

The work in this paper was supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China, 28402014. It was also supported by research grants from The Education University of Hong Kong, Internal Research Grants, RG33/2013-2014R; Departmental Research Grants, 04057. Ethics approval was obtained from the Human Research Ethics Committee of the Education University of Hong Kong.

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Correspondence to Angel Nga Man Leung.

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Leung, A.N.M., Fung, D.CL. & Farver, J.M. A Cyberbullying Intervention for Hong Kong Chinese College Students. Applied Research Quality Life 13, 1037–1053 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-017-9572-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-017-9572-1

Keywords

  • Cyberbullying
  • Intervention
  • Experiential learning
  • Attitudes