Perspectives of Consent Silence in Cyberbullying
Keywords:cyberbullying, consent silence, bystanders, aggressor, victim.
AbstractWeather the silence of bystanders is consent or not in cyberbullying type incidents has risen a scientifically debate in the field of victim-aggressor-witness dynamics research. Silence implies consent represents a concept of social interaction, which generally states that people tend to assume lack of a response or opinion to an action as a tacit approval of that action. Our research team has developed the project Keeping youth safe from Cyberbullying, aiming to deeper understand the dynamics of different cyberbullying aspects in online environments among youth. Our focus was in analyzing the relationship between consent silence, seen as a core concept in bystanders’ mindset and other psychological or behavioral traits like awareness, anonymity, fear, shame, school popularity and self-worth that fuel the tank of silence, in 140 Romanian high school students. Results show that consent silence represents the most significant predictor of future bystander, aggressor or victim type of response behavior when youth are directly or indirectly involved in cyberbullying incidents. Conclusions and implications are discussed.
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