Episode 63 - Dr. Faye Mishna: Bullying in the Cyber Yard: Old Problems, New Contexts

Monday, January 24, 2011, 10:17:58 AM

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Dr. Faye Mishna discusses her research on cyber bullying among youth, its prevalence, its effects, and what social workers can do to begin to address this growing problem.

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Average Rating: 4.8 stars (8 listener reviews )

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Average Rating: 4stars  on episode 63..., Sunday, January 27, 2013

By BJK :

I really enjoyed this podcast, and I found it quite useful. Currently I am involved in Child Welfare and cyber-bullying has become a topic of considerable concern, particularly with foster and adoptive youth who have experienced previous traumas and have become either victims or perpetrators of this type of bullying. While educating these youth beforehand is undoubtedly important, I strongly agree with Dr. Mishna’s assertion that it is crucial for the adults in youth’s lives to be open to their seeking help (even when they’ve been given prior warning). Admittedly, not having had a like experience of technology at that age, I sometimes grapple with the understanding that for the youth this type of bullying is happening to, it is more than just text on a screen. However, maintaining a non-punitive and open line of communication with these youth is helpful in creating an atmosphere that is supportive and open to such disclosures, and it certainly speeds up the process of resolving the situation.

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Average Rating: 5stars  cyberbullying, Tuesday, January 17, 2012

By Anonymous :

This podcast was very interesting. I believe that cyberbullying does need to be talked about with kids and parents because of all of the technology that pretty much is around us twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. I learned a lot from this podcast and I am hoping that many people are learning about cyberbullying and what they can do to spread the word and help prevent cyberbullying.

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Average Rating: 4stars  review dr. mishna: bullying in the cyber yard: old problems, new contexts, Monday, January 16, 2012

By Jessica Burns :

I found this podcast very enlightening. She gave me a lot of information and talked in a way that was very understandable. This podcast cleared up some questions that I had about how the victims felt in these situations and how their circumstances are handled in the schools. I did not realize that most of the time the victim knows their offender.

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Average Rating: 5stars  confronting cyber bullying, Sunday, October 09, 2011

By Karrie :

This podcast was a very relevant topic that needs to be addressed. This podcast was great because it emphasized the difference between traditional bullying and cyber-bullying. The main point that was well taken about the research was that in cyber bullying there is a lack of knowledge about the consequences and impacts this has. As it was very well put in the podcast, cyber bullying is a big problem harder to resolve because of how technologies can remove the human emotion element. It in a sense “depersonalizes” the situation and makes consequences hard to understand. The main problem about cyber bulling was how cyber bulling is not anonymous. The problem is that children and sometimes adults think that being in the cyber world makes it anonymous. That is not the case. I thought it was a great point to bring up the qualitative studies that were conducted to be helpful to get a grasp on cyber bullying. Victims of cyber bullying need to get help, but as social workers we cannot help unless we understand the issue at hand. I feel as though the message taken away was that as social workers we need to educate and advocate about this relevant topic. The policy side of this major issue needs to be considered. As it has been shown in the news lately, bullying laws are “all over the map”. The interesting conversation related to recent news is how things might change because cyber bullying can deal with “hate crime” type motives, including a teenager’s sexual identity. The laws on the books now really are not specific to who you charge in an extreme case of bullying such as a murder or suicide. It is a sad reality, “it is a community problem”. As social workers, we need to be more proactive and provide interventions such as the communication intervention suggested. It is clear that as a community and social workers, everyone needs to be more educated and knowledgeable about the long term impacts cyber bullying has on people.

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Average Rating: 5stars  bullying in the cyber yard, Friday, February 25, 2011

By Kaleighm :

While a relatively new concept, cyber-bullying is an issue that is sweeping the nation. As the media continually describes stories of those who have been ‘pushed too far,’ it is of greatest importance to research this topic, and educate both parents and children on internet safety. Dr. Mishna does an excellent job describing cyber-bullying while also informing listeners of the difficulty in doing so, due to its recent introduction and lack of research. I found it quite surprising to find out that the majority of cyber-bullying is not done anonymously, but actually done knowingly by friends and peers. Until listening to this podcast, I was largely under the impression that the increasing prevalence of cyber-bullying was due to its anonymity, as I believed that bullies would choose to covertly bully without witnesses, than overtly in the schoolyard. A common belief held by many is that due to the indirectness of cyber-bullying coupled with its anonymity is what paved the way for its rampancy. In the advent of this knowledge, I find it very important, that as social workers working with youth populations to approach this subject in a very serious manner. Technology is now both a friend and an enemy, and it needs to be treated as such. As Dr. Mishna discusses, the 0 tolerance anti-bullying policy in schools is not working, and in order to correspond to the amount of hours children are spending online, a newer, all inclusive anti-bullying policy needs to be formulated. Until applicable interventions that include technology are integrated, as both social workers and informed adults, steps need to be taken to educate youth on proper ‘netiquette’ as a method of ensuring that internet safety is consistently maintained and respect is shown for all.

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Average Rating: 5stars  great podcast!, Sunday, January 30, 2011

By Megan Swanson :

Dr. Mishna does a wonderful job in evaluating and breaking down cyber bullying. As she discussed, many similarities exist between cyber bullying and traditional bullying. However, what makes cyber bullying different is the ability to bully someone without the face to face confrontation. As Dr. Mishna discussed, there is a lack of visual feeling, for both the perpetrator and the victim. The perpetrator cannot see the effects of what they are doing and saying on their victim. The victims on the other hand are unable to show the perpetrator the effect the bullying has them. This creates a new struggle for the victims, which parents, schools, and social workers need to recognize. Dr. Mishna discusses how parents may dismiss cyber bullying through simply denying their child access to the internet. Even though this may seem like an easy fix, it still does not take away the child’s knowing that this cyber bullying is occurring. As Dr. Mishna recommended, parents need to do more than educate their children on bullying, but help them become positive witness and to get involved when they witness bullying occurring.
Dr. Mishna also addresses the fact that as social workers, it is essential for us to recognize the presence of technology, and continue to educate oneself in its complexity. Social workers need to become educated on the fact that their boundaries with clients may become tested and stretched through their use of technology. Dr. Mishna describes this further through the example of providing clients with a personal email, or after hour’s cell phone. Due to an increase in the use of technology, Dr. Mishna recommends that agencies reevaluate and clearly define their policies and the responsibilities of their staff, when it comes to the use of technology for communication with clients.
I think that Dr. Mishna brought up very relevant and useful points in this podcast, and it is a good listen for anyone interested in this subject!

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Average Rating: 5stars  cyberbullying, Friday, January 28, 2011

By Miri S.B. :

Dr. Mishna talked about many different aspects of her research on cyberbullying. One of the issues with cyberbullying is that is not universally defined. This makes it harder to know how often cyberbullying is happening and to what degree. Another part of cyberbullying that Dr. Mishna discussed is repetition. Repetition is a major part of what is usually considered bullying. In cyberbullying often the repetition is in the size of the audience and the the ability of the audience to further the bullying on their own.
A big difference between bullying and cyberbullying that Dr. Mishna points out is that cyberbullies don't have to see the effects of their bullying. Nancy Smyth points out that there is a disconnect between the victim and the bully. Dr. Mishna points out that older generations might not understand how real this bullying is. To the victim this type of bullying is very real and hurtful. The generation gap may be due to a lack of understanding of the technology or social outlets.
Dr. Mishna talks about how to address cyberbullying by intervening in the problem. She also talks about teaching children how to behave on the computer and internet. She uses the word netiquette referring to computer etiquette.
Dr. Mishna talks about having social worker assess for risk in teenagers. Social workers can look for signs that the clients are partaking in risky computer behavior. Social workers have to also be aware of the internet being used to overstep boundaries.

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Average Rating: 5stars  exploring this new phenomenon of cyberbullying, Thursday, January 27, 2011

By Scott Ruppert :

Dr. Faye Mishna and Nancy Smyth have a very informative dialogue around the new and increasingly common issue of cyberbullying, how it relates to traditional bullying, and its impact. Due to the newness of this issue, Dr. Mishna points out that there is no current clear definition of cyberbullying which impacts prevalence rates being reported. Contrary to popular thought, Dr. Mishna talks about how research is starting to find that cyberbullying is not always anonymous but rather occurs in the context of the victim’s social network and friends. Dr. Mishna points out that cyberbullying is more invasive than traditional bullying as it can happen at any time, in any place and is non-stop. It is interesting to hear Dr. Mishna talk about how the impact of cyberbulling can be worse than traditional bullying due to the invasiveness, how it can be seen by anyone, and cannot simply be deleted online.

They also discuss the generation gap between adults and the youth facing cyberbulling. They point out that to the youth the connections that occur online are very real and adults need to understand this and take it seriously. Dr. Mishna made an excellent point that turning off the computer does not turn off the interaction as it still exists on the internet. Dr. Mishna also discussed the importance of prevention and interventions not being based on only one form of technology such as computers only as youth can turn to cell phones as well.

Most importantly, the conversation ends with a talk on what this means for social work education. Dr. Mishna talks of the importance of educating social work students so that they know to ask about risky behaviors online and clues that might indicate that it is occurring. She also makes an excellent end point that it is important for social workers to realize that even if they are providing traditional services, it can turn cyber through the use of client’s emailing or contacting them via cell phones.

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DISCLAIMER: The content shared by the presenter(s) and/or interviewer(s) of each podcast is their own and not necessarily representative of any views, research, or practice from the UB School of Social Work or the inSocialWork® podcast series.