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Seminar Series - Can the peer group help to counteract cyberbullying? How research can inform practice

Date: 25 January 2012 Time: 12.30 - 2.00 p.m.

Venue: FASS MR1

Poster of Event
Poster of Event

Professor Helen Cowie, University of Surrey

Can the peer group help to counteract cyberbullying? How research can inform practice

In this seminar I review current guidance for dealing with cyberbullying and compare it with research evidence on effective and ineffective coping strategies. I also explore the potential of young people to find ways to solve the problem through such strategies as peer support.

Helen is Director of the UK Observatory for the Promotion of Non-Violence at the University of Surrey in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

For over 20 years she has specialised in strategies to counteract school bullying. Her widely-used training manual, Peer Support in Action, co-authored with Patti Wallace, influenced practice in the UK and in other European countries. In 2009, it was translated into Japanese following a long-standing collaboration with the Japanese Peer Support Association.

In Managing School Violence and New Perspectives on Bullying, she and her co-author Dawn Jennifer emphasised the importance of fostering positive relationships in the school community as a whole and provided a wealth of evidence-based good practice for professionals. Currently, she is investigating interventions to address the problem of cyberbullying and prepared, with European colleagues, an online training manual for children, parents and teachers.

Her co-authored book Understanding Children's Development , now into its 5th Edition, remains one of the most popular undergraduate textbooks in the field.

References on Cyberbullying

Andrčs, S. (2007). Los sistemas de ayuda entre iguales como instrumentos de mejora de la convivencia en lamescuela: evaluacion de una intervención, unpublished PhD thesis, Universidad Autonoma, Madrid.

Aynsley-Green, A. (2006) Bullying Today. London: Office of the Children's Commissioner.

Boulton, M. J., Trueman, M., Chau, C., Whitehand, C. & Amatya, K. (1999) Concurrent and longitudinal links between friendship and peer victimization: Implications for befriending interventions, Journal of Adolescence, 22, 461-466.

Cowie, H. (2011) Peer support as an intervention to counteract school bullying: Listen to the children, Children & Society, 25, 287-292.

Cowie, H. (2012) Coping with the emotional impact of bullying and cyberbullying: how research can inform practice, International Journal of Emotional Education.3(2): 50-56.

Escobar, M., Fernandez-Baen, .F.J., Miranda, J., Trianes, M. V. & Cowie, H. (2011) Low peer acceptance and emotional/behavioural maladjustment in schoolchildren: Effects of daily stress, coping and sex, Anales de Psicologia, 27(2): 412-417.

Eliot, M., Cornell, D., Gregory, A. & Fan, X. (2010) Supportive school climate and student willingness to seek help for bullying and threats of violence, Journal of School Psychology, 48, 533-553.

Hoff, D. & Mitchell, S. N. (2009) Cyberbullying: causes, effects, and remedies, Journal of Educational Administration, 47(5):652-665.

Jones, S. E., Manstead, A. S. R. & Livingsone, A. G. (2011) Ganging up or sticking together? Group processes and children's responses to text-message bullying, British Journal of Psychology, 102, 71-96.

Kowalski, R., & Limber, S. (2008). Electronic bullying among middle school students. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(6), S22-S30.

Li , Q. (2006)Cyberbullying in schools: a research of gender differences, School Psychology International, 27, 157-170.

Livingstone, S., Haddon, L., Gorzig, A. & Olafsson, K. (2010) Risks and Safety on the Internet. London: London School of Economics.

Mahady Wilton, M. M., Craig, W. & Pepler, D. (2000) Emotional regulationand display in classoom victims of bullying: characteristic expressions of affect, coping styles and relevant contextual factors, Social Development, 9: 226-245.

Olweus, D. (1993) Bullies at School. What we Know and What We Can Do. Oxford: Blackwell.

Parris, L., Varjas, K., Meyers, J.. & Cutts, H. (2011) High school students' perceptions of coping with bullying, Youth and Society, 43(2): doi:10.1177/0044118X11398881

Perren, S., Dooley, J., Shaw, T. & Cross, D. (2010) Bullying in school and cyberspace: Associations with depressive symptoms in Swiss and Australian adolescents, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 4(28): 28-38.

Riebel, J., Jaeger, R. S. & Fischer, U. C. (2009) Cyberbullying in Germany - an exploration of prevalence, overlapping with real life bullying and coping strategies, Psychology Science Quarterly, 51(3): 298-314

Salmivalli, C., Lagerspetz, K., Björkqvist, K., Österman, K. & Kaukiainen, A. (1996) Bullying as a group process: participant roles and their relations to social status within the group, Aggressive Behavior, 22, 1-15.

Skiba, R., Reynolds, C. R., Graham, S., Sheras, P., Conoley, J. C., & Garcia-Vazquez, E. (2008). Are Zero Tolerance Policies Effective in the Schools? American Psychologist, 63, 852-862.

Smith, P. K. & Brain, P. (2000) Bullying in schools: lessons from two decades of research, Aggressive Behavior, 26(1): 1-9.

Skiba, R., Reynolds, C. R., Graham, S., Sheras, P., Conoley, J. C., & Garcia-Vazquez, E. (2008). Are Zero Tolerance Policies Effective in the Schools? American Psychologist, 63, 852-862.

Smith, P. K., Mahdavi, J., Carvalho, M., Fisher, S., Russell, S. & Tippett, N. (2008) Cyberbullying: its nature and impact in secondary school pupils, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49(4): 376-385.

Smith, P. K., Talamelli, L., Cowie, H., Naylor, P., & Chauhan, P. (2004). Profiles of Non-victims, Escaped Victims, Continuing Victims and New Victims in School Bullying. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 24, 565-581.

Sourander, A., Brunstein Klomek, A. B., Ikomen, M., Lindroos, J., Luntamo, T., Koskelainen, M., Ristkari, T. & Helenius, H. (2010) Psychosocial risk factors associated with cyberbullying among adolescents. Archives of General Psychiatry, 67(7), 720-728.

Willard, N. (2006). Cyberbullying and cyberthreats. Eugene, OR: Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use.

Ybarra, M. L. & Mitchell, K. J. (2004) Online aggressor/targets, aggressors, and targets: a comparison of associated youth characteristics, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45(7): 1308-1316.


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education, Educational Research


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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