Date

7-2014

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Tamika Hibbert

Keywords

Academics, Attendance, Cell Phone, Cyberbullying, Personal Life, Social Life

Disciplines

Education | Educational Psychology | Secondary Education and Teaching | Student Counseling and Personnel Services

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study is to describe and understand the shared experiences of five students in a medium-sized public high school in Northern Westchester County, New York, who were victims of cell phone cyberbullying and the impact this phenomenon had on the victims' attendance, academics, and social and personal life in school. Over the last decade, cell phone cyberbullying has evolved into its own phenomenon, thus becoming a significant singularity to be confronted. It is important to understand the didactic and textural descriptions of these experiences as lived by the participants in order to help parents, teachers, and other school officials understand what it means to be cell phone cyberbullied and how to address cell phone cyberbullying accordingly. This research was examined from the theoretical perspective of Clark Moustakas' theories of phenomenological research, Abraham Maslow's study of basic human needs and Carl Rogers' person-centered approach to understanding human relationships. The results of this study make significant contributions to the existing research in this field. Data suggests that all of the participants in this study engaged in excessive cell phone use. This was a contributing multiplier toward negative interaction with peers. The excessive cell phone use is complementary to a need for instantaneous information, at times causing social and emotional distress. Cell phone cyberbullies utilize these physiological responses to exert interpersonal and social control over their cyber victims. This control contributed to a compromise in social, emotional and physical security. Finally, participants sought help from parents to manage their insecurities when they could no longer manage those insecurities independently.