Educational Intervention Program for Coping with Youth Cyberbullying, Based on Bystanders' Involvement

Dorit Olenik-Shemesh, Tali Heiman, Yael Zur


The current article presents an intervention program for coping with cyberbullying, focused on the role of bystanders, as well as evaluation of the program’s effectiveness. While most intervention programs for coping with cyberbullying focus on deterring cyber-perpetrators or assisting cyber-victims, the program presented in this study focuses on the role of bystanders in coping with cyberbullying, providing assistance to victims and strengthening their circle of support. Based on the results of a previous study, a unique intervention program was developed, implemented, and evaluated. The program consisted of six instructional experiential meetings addressing the following topics: noticing the cyberbullying event, interpreting it as an emergency, identifying and emphasizing the abuse, taking responsibility for the event, gaining knowledge and discussing effective ways to intervene and report and more. The homeroom teachers presented the intervention program after receiving training. 418 adolescents participated, divided into experimental (N=215) and control (N=203) groups, 219 boys and 199 girls; average age: 13.2, SD: 0.43. Before and after the program, they completed a cyberbullying questionnaire, a self-efficacy scale, and an empathy scale.The results show a 12.4% decrease in students reporting of cyber- victimization and an increase in the percentage of bystanders who reported cyberbullying instances to teachers, an increase in students who ignored posts, and a decrease in the percentage of students sharing posts. Implications for further development of the intervention program and research are discussed.

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Copyright (c) 2019 Dorit Olenik-Shemesh, Tali Heiman, Yael Zur

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International Journal of Education ISSN 1948-5476


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