The advent of technology has changed the way high school students bully each other. Cyberbullying results from the misuse of information and communication technology (ICT) which includes instant messaging, mobile phones, chat rooms, email messages, social networking sites, and blogs. Studies indicate that cyberbullying affects its victims negatively and the effects are long-term. An example of a negative effect is suboptimal high school academic achievement. There is enough evidence to link cyberbullying to a drop in academic performance. This literature review seeks to clarify how an increase in cyberbullying affects high school academic performance. The following five literature reviews attempt to demonstrate and support the hypothesis
In a research article by Shiraldi (2008), the author analyzed social factors and characteristics of participants such as age, gender, and socioeconomic status and their contribution to cyberbullying. The focus of the analysis was to provide a better understanding of the factors and consequences of cyberbullying. The results of this study indicated that the primary age for cyberbullying was 10 to 17, between middle and high school. A high socioeconomic status granted access to tools necessary for cyberbullying (i.e. computer, internet, and smartphones). However, it is important to note that even low socioeconomic status students were slowly feeling the effects of cyberbullying as internet they would access the internet easily. Consequences of cyberbullying included disruptive and antisocial behavior, which influenced academic standing. Students developed low self-esteem for they feared what their friends would say about them. Any attempt to respond to this bullying would only worsen the matter as these bullies intensified their threats. A limitation of the study was the lack of analysis of other factors such as race, ethnicity, and upbringing, which were also contributors to bullying.
In another research, Beaty (2008), found out that, the negative effects of school-age bullying led to ongoing torment, harassment, and lifelong damage to the victim. Moreover, the environment surrounding students affected their performance greatly. Beaty (2008) noted that a hostile school environment interrupted learning thus making students perform sub-optimally in academics. The presence and identification of bullying was the focus of this study. To root out this problem, studies hypothesized that early detection of bullying by school officials would prevent the long-term negative effects of bullying. Beaty (2008) concluded by identifying methods of reducing school bullying; enlisting early intervention as an important corrective measure. A limitation of this study was the lack of information or the expected results from the incorporation of the bullying identifying methods. There seemed to be very little information concerning this issue; moreover, the little available information was not peer-reviewed.
According to Johnson (2009), various programs were available regarding cyberbullying. These programs explained how to manage talking points with students, parents, teachers, and administrators. However, he did not mention the expected outcomes if such programs were implemented. The study elaborated on the following areas as affected characteristics: improving academic, personal/social, and career development of each student. Statistics showed that 31% of victims were upset, 19% afraid, 18% embarrassed and this led to low self-esteem in youths hence failure in school (Johnson, 2009). Addressing these issues would help greatly in the bid to come up with a bullying-free environment. Johnson, Beaty, and Shiraldi explicated the tendency of high school cyberbullying victims to fail in their academic performances. However, Johnson offered a way out of this problem by suggesting programs that would help to root out the bad habit.
On the other hand, the topic of attachment was linked strongly to the negative consequences of cyberbullying due to exposing bullying victims (the high school student) to negative actions (online bullying/harassment) repeatedly. Li (2007) conducted a study that summarized the experiences and results of victimized high school students through cyberbullying. Li went into the depths of society to expose how bad cyberbullying could get. His results demonstrated a direct relationship between academic achievement and cyberbullying exposure. Increased frequency in exposure to cyberbullying equated to the victims’ lower performance in school due to lack of concentration, decreased ability to take interest in studies, and absenteeism. This was expected given the detrimental effects that bullying has on students. High school students have not achieved mental maturity and cyberbullying leaves them with a big emotional scar that even time may find difficult to erase.
In summation, it is apparent that cyberbullying is an ever-growing problem. Cyberbullying has detrimental effects on high school students’ self-esteem and this hinders academic excellence. The advent of technology and the ease of its access to adolescents deem critical intervention towards identifying and preventing cyberbullying. Officials can prevent the long-term detrimental effects of bullying. Three of these research papers identified the positive correlation between cyberbullying and reduced academic performance while one suggested measures to curb this vice. However, a limitation to these studies was the lack of information or the expected results from the incorporation of bullying-identifying methods.