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Cyberbullying and Parental Mediation Strategies: A Comparative Assessment of Children and Teenagers

Principal Investigator (PI): Assoc Prof Shirley Ho

Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI): Assoc Prof May O. Lwin, Assoc Prof Ang Pei Hui, Rebecca

Collaborators: Nil

Start Date: Nov 2013

End Date: On-going

Abstract: Cyberbullying has become a worrying trend worldwide. The objective of this research is to determine the potential factors of cyberbullying on social media among upper primary (aged 10-12) and secondary school students (aged 13-17) in Singapore, with a focus on parental mediation theories. Our research questions include: What is the prevalence of cyberbullying among the young in Singapore? How do the cyberbullying experiences of young children (primary school students) compare with teenagers (secondary school students)? How do demographics and social-psychological factors affect children and teenagers’ experience of being cyberbullied? What is the level of awareness of cyberbullying risks among parents? How do parents’ of children compare with parents’ of teenagers pertaining to their use of the different parental mediation strategies? We also hypothesize the following: For children, both active and restrictive parental mediations are negatively associated with levels of cybervictimization; and for teenagers, only active (and not restrictive) parental mediation is negatively associated with levels of cybervictimization. We will conduct a Parent-Child (P-C) matched sample survey, in which primary and secondary school students, and the parents of these students, will be asked to fill out a self-administered questionnaire. The P-C matched sample survey provides a two-way perspective to help us diagnose any potential inconsistencies in the child’s and parents’ self-reports. This is one of the first few studies to focus on parental mediation prevention strategies and primary school students on cyberbullying in Singapore. Our findings will allow us to identify the types of parental mediation styles specific to social media that are effective in preventing children and teenagers from being cyberbullied, and inform relevant authorities on ways to use the mediation styles among parents through their outreach efforts. Our findings can serve as a foundation for us to apply for larger external grants from MDA, ICSC, and MSD.