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

Document Type

Journal Article


University of Malta

Place of Publication

Msida, Malta


School of Medical and Health Sciences




Cross, P., Lester, L., Barnes, A., Cardoso, P., & Hadwen, K. (2015). If it's about me, why do it without me? Genuine student engagement in school cyberbullying education. International Journal of Emotional Education. 7(1), 35-51. Available http://search.proquest.com/docview/1680253143/fulltextPDF/18FC607F656C4009PQ/1?accountid=10675. Available here


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. 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. 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. 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.

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