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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Social responsibility on the Internet : a socio-ecological approach to online aggression Law, Danielle M.


This series of three studies examined online aggression. More specifically, using a socio-ecological lens, this work assessed the interplay among individual, peer, parental, and school factors on Internet aggression. Study I used existing data to compare traditional bullying with online bullying. This study revealed that adolescents view the construct of online bullying and victimization differently from its traditional counterpart. In addition, this work highlighted some of the similarities and differences among these forms of aggression. Study II used a mixed-method approach to examine some of the individual predictors of online aggression. Through paper and pencil questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, this work further elucidated the differences between online aggression and traditional bullying. Specifically, adolescents defined online aggression in terms of the method used for aggressing online rather than the role they played in aggressive situations. In addition, significant gender and age differences were found. Interview data also indicated that online aggression was primarily reactive in nature, as opposed to proactive, and that adolescents use both confrontational and non-confrontational aggression online. In keeping with the socio-ecological approach, Study III examined some of the parental and school factors that influence online aggression. Results from this work showed that it was not parental monitoring or limit-setting around Internet use that reduced the likelihood that participants engaged in online aggression, rather it was the amount of child self-disclosure. Directions for future research and intervention/prevention are discussed.

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