Bullying has been an childhood problem for many and has been recognized as a serious issue. Campbell (2005) quotes Peterson (2001) stating that bullying is “the abusive treatment of a person by means of force or coercion” (qtd. in Campbell, 2005). Bullying is hurtful and can happen for no reason. It is a quick fix to make the bully feel satisfied and assert power (Campbell 2005). Cyber bullying is just one form of bullying and involves many different methods of harassing an individual. Use of the Internet via websites such as Facebook and Twitter along with both instant messaging on computers and text messaging on cell phones, allows a bully to target a victim with the use of anonymity. The anonymity of cyber bullying permits the
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Looking at research, it is evident that there is a lack of research on cyber bullying and the multiple effects on mental health with Tarrant County middle school-aged children. In order to assist middle school-aged youth in the prevention of cyber bullying and protection of mental health, key informers who work with the middle school-aged population must be better informed on the correlation between the two.
This observational study intends to measure the hypothesis that middle school students who experience cyber bullying are more prone to experience suicide ideation and depression in comparison to other middle school students. The study will seek to answer questions such as: (1) what are the statistics of victims of cyber bullying who experience suicide ideation and/or depression amongst the middle schools of Tarrant County? (2) what are the mental health consequences of cyber bullying for both victims and bullies? and (3) do victims of cyber bullying identify with both variables – suicide ideation and depression? The gap will be addressed by distributing a cross-sectional survey to 1 randomly selected class in 2 randomly selected middle schools in each of the 21 Independent School Districts of Tarrant County. The survey will use mixed-methods as it will be a qualitative survey and the results will be computed into quantitative data.