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Abstract

Cyberbullying is often operationalized as an aggression conducted by various electronic devices. However, these technologies differ in their characteristics and the distinctive aspects of their effects are not clearly known. The present study examined the nature and influence of cyberbullying committed using mobile phones in high schools in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.

We surveyed 3621 students and the findings suggest that mobile phones could have greater cyber-bullying effect than other electronic devices. School culture had the greatest influence on mobile bullying, followed by anonymity. However, the influence of anonymity does not only depend on non-identification of the bully but on other factors like safety risk. We also found that it is important to examine gender influence at various stages of the bullying activities. Gender appears to influence mobile bullying at its initiation stage than at the promotion and maintenance stages. The implications of these findings are discussed.

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