Cyberbullying in Adolescence
Currently we are featuring an article that addresses the very timely and significant issue of bulling in the context of online communications among teenagers. The article is titled “Cyberbullying in Adolescence: A Concept Analysis” by Elizabeth Hutson, MS, RN, PMHNP-BC. Featured article are available for free download while they are featured, so please visit the ANS web site to download and read this important article, and return here to share your comments!
Ms. Hutson shared this background about her work for ANS readers:
As a Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing Practitioner I work in a mood and anxiety program where we see adolescents with primary diagnosis of depression, anxiety, and concurrent suicidal ideation. From my experience I noted that a major risk factor for these mental health concerns was bullying behaviors. Bullying in schools, unfortunately, occurs frequently and causes school avoidance, depression, and at its worst suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. There is an exorbitant amount of research into childhood bullying and one of the most commonly used definitions for bullying is given to us by Dr. Dan Olweus, who has over 40 years of expertise on childhood bullying.
“A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself”.
As though bullying was not bad enough a new phenomenon that has begun to cause problems in adolescence is cyberbullying. As adolescents, schools and parents began to see the devastating effects of cyberbullying researchers quickly leap into action trying to describe and explain this new phenomenon. Initially, they took the definition of bullying and added “electronic forms of contact” and went about with their research. Unfortunately, this new definition did not seem to convey what cyberbullying truly was. For this reason I chose to address the topic of cyberbullying in a concept analysis. I looked through the research and found 25 articles and one dictionary definition of cyberbullying and from these came up with a new defintition.