Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nearly half of school social workers feel unequipped to handle cyberbullying

Date:
January 10, 2011
Source:
Temple University
Summary:
While most school social workers recognize that cyberbullying continues to be a problem among students, almost half say they are ill equipped to handle it.

Instances of cyber bullying continue to make news nearly every day, and while it's recognized as a problem among most school-aged children, a new study published this month in Children & Schools and coauthored by Temple University social work professor Jonathan Singer finds that nearly half of school social workers feel they are ill equipped to handle it.

"School social workers provide more crisis intervention services than any other school staff member -- more than counselors, nurses, teachers, or psychologists," said Singer. "As a result, school social workers are a very important component to school-based mental health services, yet there is little research that looks at their perceptions of cyberbullying."

In a survey of nearly 400 school social workers at the elementary, middle and high school levels who were members of the Midwest School Social Work Council, the researchers found that while all respondents felt that cyber bullying can cause psychological harm, including suicide, about 45 percent felt they were not equipped to handle cyber bullying, even though they recognized it as a problem. Further, only about 20 percent thought their school had an effective cyberbullying policy.

"If there's no policy in place to guide them, staffers are flying solo in this area, and that can be a liability," said Singer.

In addition, respondents felt that instances of cyberbullying were much more severe in middle school than in either elementary school or high school, leading researchers to call for training that differs in content and approach based on school level.

"These findings show a clear need to account for grade level when designing cyberbullying trainings, and for the inclusion of social workers in developing cyberbullying policies that are accurate and effective," said Singer.

Most bullying prevention programs rely on school staffers actual seeing or hearing bullying prior to intervening, but Singer notes that this approach can't work with cyberbullying because it is obscured by personal technology. Therefore, he says trainings need to include ways that school staff can effectively educate students and their colleagues about cyberbullying, and learn new ways to intervene.

"The good news is, many schools have started a conversation between staff and administrators as to what their role should be in these instances," he said. "Things like holding in-service trainings or bringing in experts to talk about the issue can lead to an increase in information and knowledge on how to handle instances of cyber bullying."

Karen Slovak of the Ohio University Zanesville is lead author on this study. Funding for research was provided by Ohio University Outreach and Regional Campuses.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Temple University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Temple University. "Nearly half of school social workers feel unequipped to handle cyberbullying." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110110121703.htm>.
Temple University. (2011, January 10). Nearly half of school social workers feel unequipped to handle cyberbullying. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110110121703.htm
Temple University. "Nearly half of school social workers feel unequipped to handle cyberbullying." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110110121703.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Sleeping, Anxiety Pills Linked To Alzheimer's

Common Sleeping, Anxiety Pills Linked To Alzheimer's

Newsy (Sep. 10, 2014) Researchers found commonly prescribed sleeping and anxiety pills such as Xanax and Valium could lead to an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins