"you were born ugly and youl die ugly too": Cyber-Bullying as Relational Aggression

Margaret Jackson, Wanda Cassidy, Karen N. Brown


Cyber-bullying increasingly is becoming a problem for students, educators and policy makers.  In this paper, we consider cyber-bullying as a form of relational aggression; that is, behaviour designed to damage, harm or disrupt friendship or interpersonal relationships through covert means.  We draw on the findings from a study of students in Grades 6 through 9, conducted in five schools, in a large ethnically diverse metropolitan region of British Columbia, Canada, to demonstrate the interconnection between cyber-bullying and relational aggression. Consistent with the relational aggression framework, girls were found more likely than boys to participate in these behaviours. We conclude that intervention strategies should consider gender differences and also aim at changing the trajectory of relational aggression to providing relational support and care.

Keywords: cyber-bullying; relational aggression; intervention strategies; gender differences

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