Date of Award

12-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Supervisor

Jeannine Dingus-Eason

Second Supervisor

Ruth Harris

Abstract

This study examines and analyzes the effects of cyberbullying among adolescent Black females in an urban setting. This population is largely excluded from Digital Youth Culture (DYC) research within cyberbullying literature (Patchin & Hinduja, 2006), even though such research is clearly warranted. To understand school violence, students must be viewed as social actors, experiencing the negative ramifications of DYC in school. These ramifications result from an imbalance of power generated through the use of aggressive tactics designed to damage a teen’s reputation, social status, and emotional well being. Currently, no research reports how cyberbullying manifests itself in an urban context, among Black females online and in school (Hinduja & Patchin, 2008). This study examined cyberbullying, categorized as disrespect online, and how it occurs among urban Black females. This qualitative, phenomenological study, employed four data gathering techniques: a) demographic profile sheets; b) semi-structured interviews; c) field notes; and, d) document collection. The four forms of data were interwoven and assisted in exploring cyberbullying, relational aggression, and conflict among the study’s participants. The findings identified four relevant themes in terms of online identity, underdeveloped relationships, conflict, and conflict resolution. The four emergent themes are: a) Facebook Thuggin; b) Moving Too Fast; c) You Gonna Have to See Me; and d) Who Barks the Loudest. The interrelated findings clarify how urban Black adolescent v females experience cyberbullying. This study is designed to assist educators with teaching Black females how to manage conflict without sacrificing social status or the perception of respect.

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