Online Disinhibition As a Predictor of Cyberbullying Among Adolescents

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 11:50 AM
Room: 422
Distributed Paper
Reinis UDRIS , Graduate School Of Human Sciences, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan
Bullying in schools is a serious problem that has commanded attention from scholars the past few decades. However, with the ongoing changes and developments in technology a new dimension to the problem has emerged: cyberbullying. Research has shown that cyberbullying can lead to depression, suicidal thoughts, decreased self-esteem and academic problems among others.

This presentation addresses the issue of cyberbullying based on the results from a survey of nine-hundred and ten high school students (mean age 16.31). Various theories and approaches have been used to explain cyberbullying. One possible factor that could lead to cyberbullying is online disinhibition. Up to now there have been no studies that specifically examined the link between online disinhibition and cyberbullying. The questionnaire included the Online Disinhibition Scale (ODS), a new instrument developed to assess online disinhibition levels.

Results from logistic regression analyses revealed that those students who were more disinhibited in online environments were consequently more likely to have cyberbullied someone. Examination of individual items of the Online Disinhibition Scale showed varied results.