Bullied Online but Not Telling Anyone: What Are the Reasons for Not Disclosing Cybervictimization?

Studia paedagogica: Digital Youth and Their Ways of Learning

Although telling an adult can be effective at ending bullying, not all bullied children tell someone about their victimization. The aim of the current study was to examine: 1) if being bullied online and not telling anyone was associated with the perceived intensity and harm experienced from being bullied, 2) the reasons for not telling anyone, and 3) if these reasons were related to the level of harm experienced from being bullied. The data used in this study consisted of responses from 451 Czech adolescents aged 12–18 who had been cyberbullied. The results showed that more boys (47%) than girls (19%) did not tell anyone about being bullied online. There was an association between experienced harm and cybervictimization disclosure; 42% of adolescents with little experience of harm did not tell anyone about it, which was more often than the case for those adolescents with a medium level of harm (19%), and those with intense harm (19%). The reasons for not telling differed among groups, where intensely harmed adolescents more often reported that they did not trust anyone and were afraid of making the situation worse and respondents with medium harm reported to a greater extent not having anyone who could help them. The most common answer for adolescents with a low experience of harm was that they did not tell anyone because they thought they would manage on their own (54%).

Klíčová slova:
cyberbullying; online aggression; adolescence; harm; telling someone about cybervictimization


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