1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The internet is a worldwide communication of millions of electronic machines called computers in a single network (Joanna, Melinda, Lawrence & Jeanne, 2014; Block, 2008). The Internet was developed in the 1960s by American Department of Defence (Schneider, Evans, & Pinard, 2006). Since then, the constant improvement of the Internet technology has provided an incredible level of public accessibility from a range of diverse forms of communication involved in intra and inter-organisational communications to data storage, management and transfer, use of social websites like Facebook and text messaging such as Twitter, and so forth (Wanajak 2011). However, other people termed common in the society engage in numerous activities using the social network platforms which includes business transactions, seminars and conferences, organizational meetings and so on. Other benefits include helping friends and relatives remember important dates of their lives such as their birthday, wedding anniversary, and etc. In 2010, the world’s Internet use was 28.7% of the population. This may not seem to be a very significant portion of the world’s population however, the growth in the use of the Internet has been erratic. For example, between 2000 and 2010, the rate of growth of Internet use was 444.8% (Internet World Stats, 2010). Actually, along with the extraordinary growth of the Internet and its use, there has been a growing concern worldwide regarding the downsides associated with the excessive usage of the Internet (Buchholz, 2009; Fackler, 2008; Janta, 2008; Khaosod, 2007).
Adolescents spend huge portion of their day in the school, especially in the tertiary institution, away from the scrutiny of their guardian. On the overall, the interactions between students provides excellent opportunities for learning, social and mental development (Ibukun et al 2015). Staksrud and Livingstone (2009) addressed children to be active agents in their personal lives as they use the Internet to express themselves, to socialise, and to discuss their frustrations. Among other things, these researchers posit that children use the Internet to post pictures, form advanced social relationships, end relationships, and avenge each other (Livingstone & Haddon, 2009). Adolescents are also proficient with, and regularly use of the internet technology (Mishna et al 2010). They are highly dependent on the internet technology for interaction and connection with themselves, as well as for other activities such as assignment, games, online shopping, gambling among others. For example, it is reported in Nigeria that about 3.6 percent of the people have access to the internet to which an earlier research suggests that young people account for a large proportion of internet users in Nigeria (Kunnuji 2010). With cell phones, pads and tablets and other internet technologies, where an individual can of access to the internet can be just anywhere where the network signal is strong enough to make access to the internet possible. In fact, people can access the internet anywhere (Kunnuji 2014). Of a conclusion, easy access to online information, and social networking sites have led to the charge in promoting the phenomenon of Internet addiction (Ravi et al 2013). It is therefore no doubt that Internet addiction which refers to an excessive and uncontrolled need to use the Internet, is found to be prevalent among young people globally (Ravi et al 2013). The common features that describes the inadequate usage of the internet by adolescents as addictive include preoccupation with the internet activities such as chatting, development of tolerance and withdrawal symptoms from reduction in the usage of internet facilities, compulsive need to engage in activity or a sense of loss of control in terms of partaking in house chores, unsuccessful attempts to stop or cut down, and neglect of social, academic and occupational obligations with functional impairment such as ignoring important duties (Ong 2014). When Internet use becomes over used and pathological, there could be ill-health effects on the adolescents such as impaired psychological well-being, less peer and family interaction, poor academic performance, and impediment to achievement of psychosocial developmental tasks (Young 2013; Mitchell 2000). Also, Davis et al. (2002) found that compulsive Internet use is beyond just spending too much time on the Web and that it led to diminished impulse control, loneliness, depression, distraction, and using the Internet as a tool for social comfort.
Apart from the addictive aspect that negates the usage of the internet, another full blown negative of cyber usage is cyberbullying. Though the exact relationship between internet addiction and cyber bullying has not been established it is important to note that traditional bullying has been defined as frequent emotional, verbal, or physical attacks against other persons or peers who are vulnerable due to certain forms of imbalance of power (Olweus 1993). Bullying aggressors are however not limited to the use of physical force such as beating, pushing or kicking to exert control or cause distress to their victims; they also employ verbal aggression, threats, taunting, exclusion, manipulation of social relationships, and the medium of the internet against the bullied victim (Ibukun et al 2015). According to Smith et al. (2008), cyberbullying is an aggressive and intentional behaviour repeated frequently over time by means of the use by an individual or a group of electronic devices targeting a victim who cannot easily defend himself or herself. Cyberbullying has quite a number of characteristics that distinguishes cyber bullying from school bullying or traditional bullying. For example, flaming, harassment, denigration, impersonation, outing, trickery, etc. have been considered to be features of cyber bullying activities (Willard 2006). The use of the internet allows cyberbullying perpetrators to maintain anonymity and give them the leverage to post messages to a wide audience (Kowalski 2007). Researchers have therefore examined adequately the influence of cyber addiction and cyber bullying on other variables of concern to the society particularly ones relating to adolescents. For example, Cyberbullying is linked with emotional stress, social anxiety, substance use, depressive symptoms, and suicidal ideation and suicide attempts (Sara et al 2015), from a study offering insights into the relationship between cyberbullying and mental health of adolescents.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The Internet started as a divine gift to the human society, it was developed to enlighten the human race by sharing knowledge and making available all the information possibly needed for human well-being, development and prosperity (Ashish et al 2013). However over the last decade, what seem to bring a new dawn has turned into worrisome societal ill due to it excessive use and abuse. The excessive usage can be seen in cyber addicts while the abuse of internet technologies can be seen in cyberbullying. Cyber addiction has been reported globally same as cyberbullying. For example, 68% of the students in Hong Kong, 55% in Japan, 48% in the Philippines, 44% in Malaysia, 40% in South Korea, and 26% in China use the Internet at least once daily (Kwok et al 2014). However, online results from a European survey suggest that among European children, excessive internet use was not only associated with risky offline activities, but with a variety of risky online activities: bullying others online, meeting new online contacts offline and sending sexual messages online (Smahel & Blinka, 2012). In Africa, a study of Namibian and Ugandan college students showed that cyber addiction also exist in relatively unpopular African societies. Also a report of Cape town high school children in South Africa showed that that 47% of Cape town high school children had been victims of cyberbullying, 60% of Cape town high school children had been perpetrators of cyberbullying while 19% of perpetrators said they cyberbullied once or twice a week, and a further 10% said they cyberbullied every day or almost every day (Brenda, Tracy & Kevin 2015). The widespread of internet addiction and cyberbullying is therefore as worrisome as additional research is therefore essential in order to determine whether adolescent’s use of the Internet is an issue of concern for higher education experts. The research therefore seek to answer the following questions
‘ What are the socio-demographic characteristics are involved in cyber addiction?
‘ What are the socio-demographic characteristics involved in cyber bullying?
‘ What is the relationship between cyber addiction and cyber bullying involvement and cyber addiction?
‘ Does cyber addiction predicts cyber aggression among adolescents?
‘ What internet application is popularly reported by cyber addicts and cyber victims?
1.2 OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
The major purpose for conducting this study is identify the prevalence of cyberbullying behaviours and internet addiction among adolescents in Ekiti state. Other aims of the research includes
‘ To examine the socio-demographic characteristics involved in cyber addiction.
‘ To examine the socio-demographic characteristics involved in cyber bullying.
‘ To examine whether a relationship exist between cyber addiction and cyber bullying.
‘ To examine whether cyber addiction predicts cyber aggression among adolescents.
‘ To determine what internet application is excessively used and reported by cyber victims.
1.4 RELEVANCE OF STUDY
The focus of this study is centred on adolescents who seem to be target of technological advances. Newly developed internet tools are typically invented to attract the interest of adolescents. The possibility here is that adolescents are either attracted to internet tools or internet tools are designed to capture their attention. More time spent on internet applications means more money for the developer of such tool instigating the need to attract consumers who could be easily distracted by the formalities of these technologies. Adolescents are easily distracted by these formalities because their minds are fragile to accepting what is pleasurable and gratifying. Therefore to ensure more gratification, those who enjoy hurting others, exhibit such acts by attacking others through the internet. Despite various diversities in the population or perhaps differences in the human population that account for ability to distinct individuals from themselves, the spread of an anomaly and unprecedented degenerated norms of the society due to the activities of certain groups discounting such as activity to be an unrelated deviation form societal norms gives the study a sense of direction. This study therefore provides insights to comprehend the rate at which a vulnerable population of individuals within a community literally termed to be under developed are involved in the compulsive use of internet tools as well the use of it for their negative agenda such that the victims of such become socially injured from such irregular interactions. The study purports to also identify how compulsive use of the internet called cyber addiction and aggressive or victims behaviour on the internet differ across the population of study in terms of variables that differentiates members of the population. Therefore, the findings from the survey provides understanding to parameters surrounding cyber addiction and relatively gives insight into the comprehending salience of target populations who are victims of cyber bullying activities. Findings that make such parameters salient therefore helps in predictive evaluation of the vulnerability to target members of the population.
2.1 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.1.1 Theory of Adolescent Development
Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development
Erik Erikson theory of psycho social development was propounded to disapprove of the strong sexual theme that was evidential in psychoanalysis. Similar to Freud’s psychoanalysis, the theory proposed that series of conflicts constructed in different stages are pertinent to the development of an individual. Resolving such conflicts helps an individual adapt in the successive stages of life. However, there were key elements to the theory that explains the directions to the theory. These elements include;
Ego identity is the conscious sense of self that an individual develops through social interaction. According to Erikson, our ego identity is constantly changing due to new experience and information we acquire in our daily interactions with others. In addition to ego identity, Erikson also believed that a sense of competence also motivates behaviours and actions. Each stage in Erikson’s theory is concerned with becoming competent in an area of life. If the stage is handled well, the person will feel a sense of mastery, which he sometimes referred to as ego strength or ego quality.
If the stage is managed poorly, the person will emerge with a sense of inadequacy. In each stage, Erikson believed people experience a conflict that serves as a turning point in development. In Erikson’s view, these conflicts are centred on either developing a psychological quality or failing to develop that quality. During these times, the potential for personal growth is high, but so is the potential for failure. However, the stage of development includes
Psychosocial Stage 1 Trust vs. Mistrust (0-2years)
This is the first stage of Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development that occurs between birth and the first year of the child. The conflict here is at the fulfilment of the child’s basic needs such as food and adequate care. Because an infant is utterly dependent, the development of trust is based on the dependability and quality of the child’s caregivers. The child therefore develops trust when his or her caregiver provides adequately what he or she needs to survive which develops into a feeling of safety and security in the child. Caregivers who are inconsistent, emotionally unavailable, or rejecting contribute to feelings of mistrust in the children they care for.
Psychosocial Stage 2 Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt (2-3years)
In this stage of a child development, emphasis is placed on children developing a greater sense of personal control. Like Freud, Erikson believed that toilet training is pivotal at this stage of the child’s life. However, Erikson’s reasoning was quite different than that of Freud’s in the sense that Erikson believes that learning to control one’s body functions leads to a feeling of control and a sense of independence. Sense of autonomy is achieved in a child when the child is given the liberty of exploration with little supervision from the care giver while shame is developed when there is control over the child’s activities
Psychosocial Stage 3 – Initiative vs. Guilt (3-5years)
In this stage, children’s desire to act independently conflicts with the guilt that comes from the unintended and unexpected consequences of such behaviour. During the preschool years, children begin to assert their power and control over the world through directing play and other social interaction. Children who are successful at this stage feel capable and able to lead others. Those who fail to acquire these skills are left with a sense of guilt, self-doubt and lack of initiative.
Psychosocial Stage 4 Industry vs. Inferiority (5-11years)
Of a continuation from the previous stage, children begin to put acquire skills into practice. Often, through social interactions, children who are new to grade school activities begin to develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments. Children who are encouraged and commended by parents and teachers develop a feeling of competence and belief in their skills. Those who receive little or no encouragement from parents, teachers, or peers will doubt their ability to be successful. However, inferiority falls back at the inability to have acquired skills at the preceding stage.
Psychosocial Stage 5 – Identity vs. Confusion (12-19 years)
This stage which is relevant to the study describes the states of affection during adolescence. During adolescence, children are exploring their independence and developing a sense of self. This is a stage that marks the search for an identity of roles and role expectations in the immediate society. Individuals at this stage want to know who they really are and find answers from their interactions with their peers. Confusion set in when there is a perceived inability of the individual to comprehend his or actual role and expectations from the society. During the identity-versus-role-confusion period, an adolescent feels pressure to identify what to do with his or her life. Because these pressures come at a time of major physical changes as well as important changes in what society expects of them, adolescents can find the period an especially difficult one.
Psychosocial Stage 6 – Intimacy vs. Isolation (early adulthood)
The age range that describes early adulthood is the post adolescence sage to the early 30’s at this stage of the individual life, emphasis is placed on forming newer relationships with others which can lead to long term relationships. Here individuals are selective of friends which leads to less circle of friends also leading to long term relationships. Inability to this will lead to loneliness and as result have negative psychological consequences such as depression, etc.
Psychosocial Stage 7 – Generativity vs. Stagnation (mid adulthood)
During adulthood, we continue to build our lives, focusing on our career and family. Those who are successful during this phase will feel that they are contributing to the world by being active in their home and community. Those who fail to attain this skill will feel unproductive and uninvolved in the world.
Psychosocial Stage 8 – Integrity vs. Despair (late adulthood)
This phase occurs during old age and is focused on reflecting back on life. Those who are unsuccessful during this phase will feel that their life has been wasted and will experience many regrets. The individual will be left with feelings of bitterness and despair. Those who feel proud of their accomplishments will feel a sense of integrity. Successfully completing this phase means looking back with few regrets and a general feeling of satisfaction. These individuals will attain wisdom, even when confronting death.
This theory of human development is relevant to this study in it explanation of a critical period of an individual’s life called adolescence. Here adolescence is described to be a difficult period in the life of an individual especially in the quest to understand their roles in the society as well as the demands of the society. This sense of urgency is facilitated by the observable physical changes that accompanies the period of adolescence. The theory also provides a focal age range for the description of an adolescence which range from age 12-20.
2.1.2 Theory of Cyberbullying
Alfred Adler Individual Psychology Theory
Alfred Adler developed the school of individual psychology, expressing opposition to the strong sexual theme of psychoanalysis and insisting that the drive for superiority was a more basic human motive than sexuality. More speci’cally, the main tenets of Adlerian theory can be stated in outline form which includes:
1. The one dynamic force behind people’s behaviour is the striving for success or superiority.
2. People’s subjective perceptions shape their behaviour and personality.
3. Personality is uni’ed and self-consistent.
4. The value of all human activity must be seen from the viewpoint of social interest.
5. The self-consistent personality structure develops into a person’s style of life.
6. Style of life is moulded by people’s creative power.
Striving for Success or Superiority
According to Alfred Adler, human major motivation is centred on strive for success or superiority. This was a summary of numerous other motives of human actions. The development of this motive accrues from the feelings of inferiority an individual adopts from a young age based on the ‘physical deficiencies’ of the individual. Physical deficiencies is described by Adler in the ‘small, weak and inferior bodies’ of a person at birth. The perceived ‘physical deficiencies is what activates strive for success or superiority in the individual. Strive for success or superiority is a compensation for the feelings of inferiority and weakness. However, there is a difference between striving for success and striving for superiority to which it is established that psychologically imbalanced persons strive for personal superiority, while psychologically healthy people seek success for all humanity. In his ‘nal theory, Adler included social interest as the basis for the difference between striving for personal superiority and striving for success for humanity.
People are continually pushed by the need to overcome inferiority feelings and pulled by the desire for completion. The minus and plus situations exist simultaneously and cannot be separated because they are two dimensions of a single force. The striving force itself is innate, but its nature and direction are due both to feelings of inferiority and to the goal of superiority. Without the innate movement toward perfection, children would never feel inferior; but without feelings of inferiority, they would never set a goal of superiority or success. The goal, then, is set as compensation for the de’cit feeling, but the de’cit feeling would not exist unless a child ‘rst possessed a basic tendency toward completion (Adler, 1956). Although the striving for success is innate, it must be developed. This means that the potential to develop strive for success or superiority is inherent in everyone at birth but will be actualized at will in different forms. At about age 4 or 5, children begin this process by setting a direction to the striving force and by establishing a goal either of personal superiority or of social success. The goal provides guidelines for motivation, shaping psychological development and giving it an aim.
People who strive for superiority with little or no concern for others have goals that are personal ones, and their strivings are motivated largely by exaggerated feelings of personal inferiority, or the presence of an inferiority complex. For example, cyberbullies, murderers, thieves, and scammers are vivid examples of people who strive for personal gain.
Social interest is what Adler translated from a German term, Gemeinschaftsgef”hl. Whose translation he described to ‘social feeling’ or ‘community feeling.’ A person with well-developed Gemeinschaftsgef”hl according to Adler strives not for personal superiority but for perfection for all people in an ideal community. Social interest can be de’ned as an attitude of relatedness with humanity in general as well as an empathy for each member of the human community. It manifests itself as cooperation with others for social advancement rather than for personal gain (Adler, 1964). Social interest is the natural condition of the human species and the adhesive that binds society together (Adler, 1927). The natural inferiority of individuals necessitates their joining together to form a society.
A major safeguarding tendency of an individual as a style of life is aggression. Adler (1956) held that some people use aggression to safeguard their exaggerated superiority complex, that is, to protect their fragile self-esteem. Safeguarding through aggression may take the form of depreciation, accusation, or self-accusation. Depreciation is the tendency to devalue other people’s achievements and to glorify one’s achievements. This safeguarding tendency is evident in such aggressive behaviours as criticism and gossip for example an individual would say ‘The only reason Bisola got the better grades than I had is because she is a lady.’ Or perhaps ‘I am miss having a good colleague, Seun is just the laziest partner I ever had.’ The intention behind each act of depreciation is to belittle another so that the person, by comparison, will be placed in a favourable light. Accusation, the second form of an aggressive safeguarding device, is the tendency to blame others for one’s failures and to seek revenge, thereby safeguarding one’s own tenuous self-esteem. ‘I wanted to be an artist, but my parents forced me to go to medical school. Now I have a job that makes me miserable.’ Adler (1956) believed that there is an element of aggressive accusation in all unhealthy lifestyles. Unhealthy people invariably act to cause the people around them to suffer more than they do. The third form of neurotic aggression, self-accusation, is marked by self-torture and guilt. Some people use self-torture, including masochism, depression, and suicide, as means of hurting people who are close to them. Guilt is often aggressive, self-accusatory behaviour. ‘I feel distressed because I wasn’t nicer to my grandmother while she was still living. Now, it’s too late.’ Self-accusation is the converse of depreciation, although both are aimed toward gaining personal superiority. With depreciation, people who feel inferior devalue others to make themselves look good. With self-accusation, people devalue themselves in order to in’ict suffering on others while protecting their own magni’ed feelings of self-esteem (Adler, 1956).
2.1.3. Theory of addiction
Gray’s Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory
A central assumption of Gray’s reinforcement sensitivity theory is that such personality traits as anxiety and impulsivity arise from neurologically based motivational systems. Gray’s description of such terms as rewards and punishment system arise from the blend of occurrence of events and their consequences, their associated feeling state or driven expectations and behaviours linked to these events. (Gray & McNaughton, 2000). In this context, Rewards are regarded as positive incentive stimuli that are associated with positive affect and, correspondingly, a positive incentive motivation to approach such stimuli. It is however of a discovery that in humans, certain incentive emotional states facilitates approach behaviour to reward cues. These emotional states include attraction, desire, elation, enthusiasm, excitement, expectation, and hope. Consequently, the terms ‘reward’ and ‘punishment’ as used in this section are not identical by any means with the operant description of the terms ‘reinforcer’ and ‘punisher,’ with these latter concepts defined primarily by the effects that consequences have on behaviour (either to increase or decrease the frequency, intensity, or duration of behaviour, respectively).
In Gray’s model (Gray, 1987; Gray & McNaughton, 2000), there are three conceptual bio-behavioural systems inherent in every individual which includes the fight/flight/freezing system, Behavioural Activation System, and the Behavioural Inhibition System. The Fight/flight/freezing system is a threat reactivity system which is thought to mediate reactivity to all aversive stimuli, including conditioned and unconditioned punishment cues. Fear and panic are the common emotional expressions derived from this system, and active avoidance, escape and defensive behaviours are the primary associated action tendencies. Conversely, the Behavioural Activation System is a reward-reactivity system is used to account for trait impulsivity and individual differences in reactivity to all forms of appetitive stimuli. Behavioural Activation System activation is associated with approach behaviour and behavioural activation, positive moods in the presence of reward cues, and reactivity to the termination or omission of aversive environmental events. The BIS is activated by sources that generate response conflict and is assumed to give rise to trait anxiety primarily in situations associated with competing motivations or goals (e.g., those associated with conflict, ambiguity, or uncertainty). Behaviour inhibition System is a conflict-reactivity system which results in the initial inhibition of ongoing behaviour and increases in the allocation of attentional resources to cues associated with conflict (e.g., in the service of risk assessment). Conflict resolution, in turn, is resolved through either Fight/flight/FFS (e.g., avoid, escape) or BAS (e.g., approach) engagement. Within Gray’s model, reward-seeking behaviors are primarily mediated by BAS activation. Behaviors that fall under the headings of novelty seeking, risk taking, or sensation seeking are examples of action tendencies thought to be primarily associated with BAS mediation (Simillie et al., 2006). Disinhibited behavior, in contrast, might occur in the absence of endogenous regulatory mechanisms that function to inhibit behavior in the presence of threat, danger, or punishment cues, or in situations where response conflicts might be present. Some theorists, for example, have historically associated disinhibition with fearlessness (e.g., Lykken 1957). In Gray’s revised model, fearlessness would be primarily associated with the relatively weak activation of the FFFS in situations where threat’, danger’, or punishment’related cues are present. In the relative absence of the experience of fear (and FFFS activation), BIS activation would also be unlikely, as BIS activation depends on the coactivation of both FFFS and BAS systems. In most situations, however, impulsivity (or disinhibition) involves the reactivity and functional outcomes associated with all three conceptual systems in the revised RST (Simillie et al., 2006). Behavior frequently occurs in environments that include mixed incentives (both rewards and punishers) for behavior, and hence offer a degree of conflict depending on the strength or reactivity of each of the three systems. Passive avoidance is one example of a process that likely involves all three systems (Smillie et al., 2006). Passive avoidance learning refers to the learned inhibition of behavior in order to avoid punishment, and a passive avoidance error is an instance where a person fails to inhibit responding to punishment cues. Ongoing behavior is, by definition, behavior that has historically been maintained by reactivity to rewards (BAS activation). When threat or punishment signals are introduced (FFFS activation) during ongoing behavior, a conflict situation ensures (BIS activation), resulting in the inhibition of behavior while additional information is gathered and processed. This additional information, in turn, helps to clarify the nature of this conflict and suggests appropriate forms of behavioral resolution (e.g., active avoidance or escape, continued inhibition of behavior, the resumption of behavior).
2.2 LITERATURE REVIEW
Internet properties and mobile platforms is unrivalled in the history of technological advancements (Livingstone et al. 2013). The development and utilization of digital media have escalated quickly, and improvements in social networking sites (SNSs), mobile media devices, and networked games are finding favour with children (Shipton, 2011). Similarly, Internet activities amongst young members of the population have increased sporadically across the globe in the 21st century (Tokunaga, 2010) and have become embedded in their lives (Livingstone et al 2013). Everyone is now interested in the usage of the internet. The increasing use of social network tools as the normal resource for how we communicate with each other and knowledge sharing is therefore what prompts expert to the description of classified abnormality. Psychologist and researches also come out with a new kind of addiction as they believe that there is a correlation between how often one uses social network and a linkage to addiction (Ben-Ze’ev, 2004; Vallerand et al., 2003). According to Griffiths (2000), social networking sites use might be a novel form of soft addiction. Further, Vallerand et al. (2003) argued that the extreme use of sites can become disruptive to daily life and even lead to negative outcome such as loneliness, depression, anxiety, and phobias. In this paper, Kuss and Griffiths (2011) points that social network sites are crucial in terms of professional and academic opportunities, which clarify why some individuals are impulsive social networking sites users. It can have series consequences for productivity of individual networks, they might wish to benefit. According to Deragon (2011), this kind of addictive behaviour is apparently seen to be a social state related to particular symptoms and signs. It may be caused by the internal factors (an absence of information or wisdom by people or groups in social networking sites use) or external factors (such as impact of social networking sites, simply using social networking sites in the incorrect way and for incorrect reasons) which is all about the production of meaningless things that do not improve the gradual persistence of individual network. It was indicated that on any given day in the United States, 23 million teenagers will get online ‘hanging out in chat rooms and social networking sites’ while 18 million teens were reported to have their own cell phone (Yardi & Bruckman, 2011). There are higher tendencies for adolescents, as compared to adults, to form new habits and to become Internet addicts due to their ability to adapt quickly to new information and communication technologies. (Lee et al., 2000). Therefore intervention in the education level is necessary to enable students to learn the proper habits of using the Internet. With regards to the difference between males and females, male students were more familiar with computers as ‘machines’ and were therefore more exposed to the Internet (Lee, G. Y., 2001). However, the results of several studies on Internet addiction based on the gender of each age group showed a completely different outcome. For instance, in the study of Kim, J. Y. (2002) that examined elementary school students, there was no difference between male and female children. In studies conducted on adults, there were no differences between males and females. In addition, some studies showed that as the age of women increased, their addictive tendency also increased more significantly compared to men. (Brenner, 1997; Kim, S. W., 2002; Song, 1988). Therefore, the age group should also be factored in when discussing the addictive nature according to gender.
Adolescents are naturally inclined to make use of electronic devices but do not always use theses technologies in positive ways (Juvonen & Gross, 2008; Yardi & Bruckman, 2011; Ybarra, 2004). Among the online risks affecting adolescents, cyberbullying has been found to be the one that causes the most harm (Haddon & Livingstone, 2012). Cyberbullying can be defined as intentional and persistent harm to a person caused by a group or person via the use of electronic media (Hinduja & Patchin, 2013). Peer victimisation and bullying have always been an issue for schools and parents alike (Patchin & Hinduja, 2010), but the Internet has increased the extent and impact of bullying due to the possible anonymity of its perpetrators and the possible wide visibility of the bullying behaviour (Boyd et al., 2009). The major factor that distinguishes cyber bullying from traditional bullying is the anonymity the internet provides meaning cyber bullies do not have to own their actions due to the anonymity can provide since it is often outside of the legal reach of schools and school boards (Belsey, 2004). The forms of cyber bullying includes flaming, harassment, denigration, impersonation, outing, trickery, exclusion, cyber stalking, and cyber threat (Willard 2006). Cyberbullying can have a long-lasting psychological impact on individuals; the result of which can include changes in self-efficacy, self-esteem and behaviour.
2.3 Related empirical studies
2.4.1 Factors Influencing Internet Addiction Tendency among Middle School Students
2.4.2 Causes of cyberbullying in multi-player online gaming environments: Gamer perceptions
2.4.3 Moderating Effect of Cyber Bullying on the Psychological Well-Being of In-School Adolescents
2.4.4 Effects of cyberbullying and offensive discourse among adolescents in cyberspace
Factors Influencing Internet Addiction Tendency among Middle School Students
This study was conducted to examine the factors that influence possibilities of middle school children in India to become cyber addicts. Key to the study, middle school children in Daegu and Gyeong-buk area in India were assessed of which a total of 450 middle school students were utilized for the study. Self-report measures was used to collect data from students pertaining to cyber addiction, parental control, parental control over internet use, depression, self-control and interpersonal relationships using a cross-sectional descriptive survey . The major aim of the study was to understand the degree of internet addiction tendency and to find out the factors influencing this addiction tendency among middle school students in Gyeong-buk area in India which can be used in instituting a preventive program on internet addiction in India. In the overall ratio distribution, however, students who were classified as either addicted or at risk of addiction accounted for a high percentage, 27%. A positive correlation was found between Internet addiction and Internet expectation, depression and parent control over Internet use. A negative correlation was found between Internet addiction and interpersonal relationship, parent support and self-control. Multiple regression analysis revealed that the most powerful predictor of Internet addiction tendency was depression. Depression was found to be the most impacting factor in predicting whether the student will become addicted to the Internet where it seems that the higher the degree of depression, the higher the tendency towards Internet addiction. In short, people who are not content with reality tend to become addicted to the Internet, achieving fake self-actualization in an imaginary world. (Suler, 1996). Kiesler, Siegal, and McGuire (1984) mentioned that people who suffered from depression were more attached to imaginary space where they could hide their non-linguistic actions. The study concluded that depressed people found communication more appealing through computers. This means that adolescents who are very depressed perceive difficulties in forming good interpersonal relations with others. As noted with other addictive disorders, increased levels of depression are associated with those who become addicted to the Internet. It is therefore likely that low self-esteem, poor motivation, fear of rejection, and the need for approval associated with depressiveness contribute to increased Internet use, as prior research indicated that the interactive capabilities available on the Internet were found to be most addictive. Kiesler et al. found that computer-mediated communication weakens social influence by the absence of such nonverbal behaviour as talking in the head set, speaking loudly, staring, touching, and gesturing. Therefore, the disappearance of facial expression, voice inflection, and eye contact makes electronic communication less threatening, thereby helping the depressive to overcome the initial awkwardness and intimidation in meeting and speaking with others.
In terms of ways of using free time, there was a greater tendency for Internet addiction among students who spent time alone than with family members or friends. These were the same findings revealed in the study conducted by Park (2002). Park’s study pointed out that the extent of Internet use showed a negative correlation with the parent-child relationship and friendship. In short, the higher the degree of Internet addiction, the more time the adolescent spent alone. This result may lead to a hypothesis that such adolescents are deprived of proper interpersonal relationship and effective communicative ability in real world.
Causes of cyberbullying in multi-player online gaming environments: Gamer perceptions
A survey was developed by the researchers and it included questions from previous cyberbullying studies (Molluzzo et al., 2012; Smith & Yoon, 2012), in addition to questions specifically developed to address research objectives. Respondents were asked several open ended questions related to causes of cyberbullying in gaming environments.
To better understand what the biggest causes of cyberbullying are in this environment. This exploratory research investigates gamer perceptions regarding the causes of cyberbullying in online multi-player gaming environments.
A survey was developed for this study and 936 respondents answered several open ended questions related to causes of cyberbullying in gaming environments. Content analysis of these questions revealed that gamers perceive the biggest causes are: anonymity, the cyberbully not seeing the real life effects of their behaviours, and no fear of punishment.
The results from the multi-answer question ‘Why do you think cyberbullying behaviour within multiplayer games occurs’ presented in Table 1 show that the highest percentage of participants reported anonymity (86%), the cyberbully not seeing the real life effects of their behaviours (76%) and no fear of punishment (73%) as causes of cyberbullying.
Moderating Effect of Cyber Bullying on the Psychological Well-Being of In-School Adolescents
Activities of bullying among in-school adolescents has taken a new form with the use of internet technology device. The internet is a new and trending means that is popularly used now by most in-school adolescent to perpetuate cyber bullying. Cyber bullying, the voluntary and repetitious abuse that is inflicted through computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices (Hinduja & Patchin, 2010), is a modern method of victimization that has affected over 40 percent of adolescents in 2009 alone (National Crime Prevention Council, 2010). Adolescence is a period of identity formation and a time adolescents strive for social acceptance from others which when not attained has negative consequences on the psycho-social well-being of the adolescent. The social network media is therefore a medium used by adolescents to establish their identity and seek social recognition and peer acceptance via chatting and other internet activities. However, if they experience cyber bullying, it impact negatively on their psychological and emotional wellbeing (Okoiye Nwoga & Onah 2015).
In this study, simple random sampling technique was used to select a number three hundred senior secondary in-school adolescents (SSSIII) comprising of male and female students from fifteen randomly selected secondary schools in Benin Edo State Nigeria to discover the relationships that exist between in-school adolescent’s self-esteem, self-concept, self-efficacy and cyber bullying and the impact of cyberbullying on adolescent’s self-esteem, self-concept and self-efficacy. It was assumed that cyber bullying victimization can be a potent source of emotional and psychological strain among in-school adolescents that can in turn lead to deviant coping responses. The result of the study revealed that there is significant relationship between the variables (self-esteem, self-concept, self-efficacy and cyber bullying) and that cyber bullying has significant negative impact of the psychological well-being of in school adolescents. This supports National Crime Prevention Council, (2010) report of the fact that cyber bullying is a modern method of victimization that has affected the psychological well-being of over 40 percent of adolescents in the past years. The reason for this development could be that cyber bully as a form of violence is manifested in the form of verbal threats, attacks and taunts from peers while chatting via the internet or text messages and has gained momentum in Nigeria with an unimaginable psychological effect on the well-being of in-school adolescents. In congruence, Mesch (2009) posits that cyber bullying jeopardizes the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of the children and puts society at the risk of ethical and moral deterioration. Unlike face-to-face bullying it does not end from the time the school gets over but follows the child/adolescent back home with an easy access to the various forms of digital communication. Sourander, et al, (2010) report of the fact that if a cyber-bully posts something embarrassing or defaming about the victim on any social networking website, everyone who is friends with the cyber bully or the victim has the potential to see the post. The victim not only has to deal with the embarrassment of being victimized, but also with the knowledge that everyone who has access to the Internet is able to witness this humiliation. Thus, cyber bullying can cause significant emotional and psychological harm that can result to affected in-school adolescents developing low self-esteem, poor self-concept and become less efficacious in their relationship with their environment (Sourander, et al, 2010). However, bullies’ low self-perceptions may serve as a motivator for their engagement in bullying behaviours so as to enhance facets of their self-concept (Raskauskas & Stoltz, 2007) yet it is of note that victims with a low sense of self-efficacy believe that they cannot manage the potential threats associated with victimization, and they experience high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression (Bandura, 1997). Furthermore, adolescent victims with a low sense of self-efficacy ‘tend to dwell on their coping deficiencies and view many aspects of their environment as fraught with danger’ (Bandura, 1997).
There will be a significant relationship between cyber bullying and cyber addiction.
Cyber addiction will predict cyber aggression and cyber victimization among adolescents in Ekiti state
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