If it's about me, why do it without me? Genuine student engagement in school cyberbullying education

Donna Cross, Leanne Lester, Amy Barnes, Patricia Cardoso, Kate Hadwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Web of Science)


This study reports on a three-year group randomized controlled trial, the Cyber Friendly Schools Project (CFSP), aimed to reduce cyberbullying among grade 8 students during 2010-2012. In each year, 14-15 year old student "cyber? leaders acted as catalysts to develop and implement whole-school activities to reduce cyberbullying-related harms. This paper examines students? leadership experiences and the effectiveness of their training and intervention efforts. A mixed methods research design comprising interviews and questionnaires was used to collect data from 225 grade 10 students at the end of their leadership years (2010 & 2011). Four to six cyber leaders were recruited from each of the 19 intervention schools involved in each year of the study. The cyber leaders reported high self-efficacy post-training, felt their intervention efforts made a difference, and experienced a sense of agency, belonging and competence when given opportunities for authentic leadership. They identified key barriers and enablers to achieving desired outcomes. Students greatly valued having their voices heard. Their engagement in the development and delivery of whole-school strategies allowed them to contribute to and enhance efforts to promote their peers? mental health and wellbeing. However, a lack of support from school staff limits students? effectiveness as change-enablers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Emotional Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


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