Dutch Cyberbullying Victims’ Experiences, Perceptions, Attitudes and Motivations Related to (Coping with) Cyberbullying: Focus Group Interviews
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Recruitment and Participants
|Experiencing cyberbullying||Which of the following cyberbullying events did you experience?|
What kind of cyberbullying event did you experience?
What are the consequences of cyberbullying?
|Performing cyberbullying||Which of the following cyberbullying events did you perform?|
Who cyberbullied someone else? What did you do?
Why did you cyberbully someone else?
|Perception of cyberbullying||How do you perceive cyberbullying?|
Did you perceive this behavior as cyberbullying? Why?
What do you perceive as worse? Traditional or cyberbullying? Why?
|Attitude about cyberbullying||What do you think about cyberbullying?|
What is worse? Traditional or cyberbullying?
What is the worst thing about cyberbullying?
|Motives for cyberbullying||Why do (you think) people cyberbully each other?|
Which characteristics does a victim of cyberbullying have?
Which characteristics does a cyberbully have?
|Coping with cyberbullying||How do you react to cyberbullying?|
How did your cyberbully react to your reaction?
What are other possible reactions towards cyberbullying?
Which reactions do you think are effective in stopping cyberbullying? Why?
Do you talk about experiences with cyberbullying? With whom? Why (not)?
2.3. Data Analysis
|Focus group||Coder 1||Coder 2||Agreement||Fragments without Consensus|
|Number of fragments coded||Disagreement with coder 2||Number of fragments coded||Disagreement with coder 1|
|Interview 1||197||74 (37,56%)||224||101 (45,09%)||123||19|
|Interview 2||88||20 (22,72%)||89||21 (23,60%)||68||0|
|Interview 3||220||31 (14,09%)||226||37 (16,37%)||189||0|
|Interview 4||128||19 (14,84%)||134||25 (18,66%)||109||0|
|Interview 5||24||6 (25%)||27||11 (40,74%)||18||0|
|Interview 6||41||5 (12,20%)||45||9 (20%)||36||0|
|Interview 7||4||0 (0%)||4||0 (0%)||4||0|
|Interview 8||18||1 (5,56%)||19||3 (15,79%)||17||0|
2.4. Ethics Approval
3.1. Experiences with Victimization and Perpetration in (Cyber)bullying
3.1.1. What Kind of Experiences do Dutch Low-Educated Cyberbullying Victims Have with Cyberbullying Victimization in Cyberbullying, and What do They Look Like?
|Experiences with cyberbullying||Being called names||Boy: “On the Internet I was playing around on Facebook, and this girl from my old school started calling me names…”|
|Being ignored||Girl: “… I was in a fight with someone, I think, and then they ignored me.”|
|Being deleted||Girl: “… she deleted me, now she isn’t talking to me anymore, thank god!”|
|Being gossiped about||No examples, only raised hands|
|Being threatened||Boy: “Once, I received a text message which stated that someone would enter my room around midnight. However, it didn’t happen.”|
|Being mislead||No examples, only raised hands|
|Being lied to||Girl: “Yeah, they just lied to me.”|
|Impersonation||Boy: “And from someone else, I don’t know exactly who it was, but he sent me messages with four-letter words.”|
|Being placed upon a voting website||No examples, only raised hands|
|Being threatened||Girl: “…I got in a fight with a girl via Hyves* and she was calling me names and said: ‘When I see you, I’ll hit you in the face’.”|
|Uploading unwanted pictures||Girl: “They posted a picture of me on Hyves* while I was sleeping.”|
|Breaking in||Boy: “Nothing happened to my computer, but now and again someone took over the control over my mouse.”|
|Changing passwords||Girl: “On my MSN messenger, I don’t know who it was. I wanted to log in but it didn’t work anymore.”|
|Experiences with traditional bullying||Receiving mail bombs||Boy: “Yesterday I checked my Inbox and then there were 493 unread messages about stuff you can buy.”|
|Receiving pornographic materials||Boy: “Once I went to Hyves* and someone added me and started sending me nasty pictures.”|
|Receiving anonymous e-mails/phone-calls||Boy: “The past few weeks someone was calling me and then my phone displays ‘Blocked number’. The caller has a thing, a strange voice. And then I think I know who it is, but then he isn’t.”|
|Being called names||Girl: “They call everybody hooker and bitch and so on.”|
|Being beaten up/physical bullying||Boy: “Continuously calling me names, pushing me, stuff like that. They tried to throw me on the floor, stuff like that. Eight kids standing around me.”|
|Being threatened||Girl: “In this class, some girls came to my house.”|
|Being excluded||Girl: “They started making noises I didn’t like and started gossiping about me and counting me out. I really didn’t like that.”|
3.1.2. What Kind of Experiences do Dutch Low-Educated Cyberbullying Victims Have with Cyberbullying Perpetration, and What do They Look Like?
3.2. How do Dutch Low-Educated Cyberbullying Victims Perceive/Consider Experiences with Cyberbullying and What is Perceived as Worse?
|Performing cyberbullying||Calling names/ridiculing||Girl: “Calling names and ignoring, and ridiculing and stuff…”|
|Changing passwords||Girl: “On my brother’s phone, just as a joke.”|
|Gossiping||Girl: “For example gossiping, or directly to the person, just like ----.”|
|Ignoring||No examples, only raised hands|
|Insulting someone||Boy: “And, I don’t know how I said it, but I think I said ‘It doesn’t smell so nice over here’ while I was standing next to him. Well, like ‘It smells over here’. It wasn’t really nice.”|
|Lying to someone||No examples, only raised hands|
|Misleading/impersonation||Boy: “A friend of mine received a text message, and then I send a message to the sender pretending to be my brother. I told him I was 17 and that I would get to him. He then stopped texting.”|
|Threatening||Boy: “… with a friend, we anonymously send a mail mentioning ‘if you don’t stop you’ll die’.”|
|Uploading unwanted pictures||Girl: “Once I was in a bad fight with a girl, and then I Photo shopped her head on Lolo Ferrari and posted the picture on Hyves*, and stuff like that.”|
|Perception of (cyber)bullying||Characteristics of a victim||Boy: “…they’re insecure, but they also often walk alone. And that’s an appearance like, I am just saying, I don’t have any friends and thus I’m kind of bait.”|
|Characteristics of a bully||Girl: “Yes everybody can be a bully. Whether it’s someone who’s very small with glasses and whatever, or someone who’s very tall and who looks like a bully…”)|
|Seen as (cyber)bullying||Boy: “When you just had a fight, and when someone isn’t talking back to you on Hyves*. I think this is cyberbullying because you try to make it up and that person perhaps doesn’t even see your attempts, he just clicks your message away.”|
|Not seen as (cyber)bullying||Girl: “Sometimes I think calling names isn’t bullying, sometimes you do that as friends...”|
3.3. Why do Dutch Low-Educated Cyberbullying Victims Think People (Cyber)Bully Each Other, Who Becomes/Is a Victim and Who is a Bully?
|Motivations to bully/being bullied||Cyberbullying victims||Girl: “So provoking others and being lonely, then you’re being an easy target.”|
|Cyberbullying bullies||Girl: “A bully is insecure at the moment, I think.”|
3.4. Which Attitudes do Dutch Low-Educated Cyberbullying Victims have towards Cyberbullying?
|Attitudes||Cyberbullying||Girl: “I think it’s cowardly when you don’t have the balls to say something to me in real life, like ‘you’re a hooker’. When someone says that to me via the Internet, than he’s a coward.”|
|Specific forms of (cyber)bullying||Girl: “When the four-letter words aren’t that bad I don’t mind that much.”|
|Cyberbullying compared to traditional bullying||Boy: “When they kick you or hit you offline, then I think it’s worse than online.”|
3.5. How do Dutch Low-Educated Cyberbullying Victims Cope with Cyberbullying, and How do They Perceive These Coping Strategies?
3.5.1. Aggressive Coping
3.5.2. Passive Coping
3.5.3. Active Coping
3.5.4. Seeking Support Coping
|Aggressive coping||Getting angry online||Girl: “It doesn’t make me sad, I just get really angry when people do stuff like that…”|
|Retaliating/calling names online||Boy: “When someone does that to me, I do it back, to be honest.”|
|Agreeing to meet for a fight offline||Girl: “Very stupid, but then we waylaid for her. We did not really waylaid for her but agreed to waylay, this sounds really stupid, however different things happened.”|
|Fighting back/getting physical offline||Boy: “Only then he kept doing it. Okay, I wasn’t supposed to do that, but I grabbed him in his neck, well not lifting him up, and I pushed him with his head against the door. And then I just reacted really angry. Anger attack. Because I warned him, but he kept doing it and kept provoking me.”|
|Getting angry offline||Girl: “Getting angry. Then I start yelling, hitting and I grab the nearest painful object and throw it at their heads.”|
|Retaliating/calling names offline||Boy: “When they call me names, then I do it back three times worse.”|
|Active coping||Blocking and deleting||Boy: “Once I was on Hyves* and someone added me and started sending me nasty pictures. Then I told my mom. After that, I immediately deleted and blocked him.”|
|Seem self-assured||Girl: “Loosen up a little bit in class and try to not look insecure. People will respect you more and they’ll stop bullying you eventually. That’s how it went with me.”|
|Standing up for oneself||Boy: “Yeah I once said ‘What you’re saying to me, you wouldn’t like it when I said that to you…”|
|Standing up for someone else||Girl: “Then I completely freaked out on him and told him ‘Go and cry to your mommy’. Because I don’t stand it when they do something like that to my friends. I was really angry!”|
|Talking about it||Girl: “After a time you just try to talk, because then you both will be more calm and will be able to talk about it. However, it depends on what the person said.”|
|Passive coping||Doing nothing/ignoring (the message)||Boy: “Someone, I don’t know who, called me names on Twitter and then I just let it happen, I didn’t know him so I didn’t reacted to it.”|
|Nonchalance/I do not care||Girl: “When they call me for example a hooker via the Internet, then I just let that happen. I don’t care. I just know that I am not.”|
|Quitting school||Girl: “…when it happened at my old school, I just thought ‘I’ll go to another school’…”|
|Putting things in perspective/positive thinking||Boy: “When they call me names, I always think ‘ Yeah, you can call me names, but the only thing you do is making yourself look smaller and you make a fool out of yourself.”|
|Seeking support coping||Friends||Girl: “Most of my friends help me pretty good.”|
|Parents||Boy: “I just go to my mom, then I tell my mom and dad what’s going on and they tell me what I should do.”|
|Teachers||Girl: “I went to talk to my mentor.”|
|Siblings/family||Girl: “Once my sister came to this school, they did not dare to bully me anymore. I wouldn’t tell her, but when she hears I’m in trouble, she immediately comes and helps me.”|
|Not seeking support/loneliness||Girl: “Most of the time I don’t talk about it to no one, really no one. And I keep it to myself.”|
|Consequences||Victimization||Girl: “A really bad feeling...”|
|Coping||Boy: “I became more angry and angry, so eventually there was a big fight, however since then they don’t do anything anymore.”|
4. Discussion & Conclusions
Conflicts of Interest
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- 1---- = anonymized name.
© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Jacobs, N.C.L.; Goossens, L.; Dehue, F.; Völlink, T.; Lechner, L. Dutch Cyberbullying Victims’ Experiences, Perceptions, Attitudes and Motivations Related to (Coping with) Cyberbullying: Focus Group Interviews. Societies 2015, 5, 43-64. https://doi.org/10.3390/soc5010043
Jacobs NCL, Goossens L, Dehue F, Völlink T, Lechner L. Dutch Cyberbullying Victims’ Experiences, Perceptions, Attitudes and Motivations Related to (Coping with) Cyberbullying: Focus Group Interviews. Societies. 2015; 5(1):43-64. https://doi.org/10.3390/soc5010043Chicago/Turabian Style
Jacobs, Niels C.L., Linda Goossens, Francine Dehue, Trijntje Völlink, and Lilian Lechner. 2015. "Dutch Cyberbullying Victims’ Experiences, Perceptions, Attitudes and Motivations Related to (Coping with) Cyberbullying: Focus Group Interviews" Societies 5, no. 1: 43-64. https://doi.org/10.3390/soc5010043