Book Chapters

Campbell, M., Spears, B., Cross, D., & Slee, P.T. (2010). Cyberbullying in Australia. IN J. Mora-Merchan & T. Jager (eds.) Cyberbullying: A cross-national comparison. Verlag, Empirische Padagogik, Landau. Pp.232-245.
Wotherspoon, A., Slee, P.T. & Cox G. (2012). Using mobile phones to counter cyberbullying: an innovative South Australian Project. IN Costabile, A & B. Spears. Positive Uses of ICT to Address Cyber Bullying. Verlag Pub.

Journal Articles

Campbell, M., Spears, B , Slee, P.T. , Butler , D., and Kift, S. (2012) Victims perceptions of traditional and cyberbullying, and the psychosocial correlates of their victimisation. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. 17, 3-4, 389-401.

It is well recognised that there are serious correlates for victims of traditional bullying. These have been shown to include increased levels of depression, anxiety and psychosomatic symptoms, in addition to often severe physical harm and even suicide. Bullied students also feel more socially ineffective and have greater interpersonal difficulties, 10 together with higher absenteeism from school and lower academic competence. In the emerging field of cyberbullying many researchers have hypothesised a greater impact and more severe consequences for victims because of the 24/7 nature and the possibility of the wider audience with this form of bullying. However, to date there is scarce empirical evidence to support this. This study sought to compare victims’ perceptions 15 of the harshness and impact of bullying by traditional and cyber means. The major findings showed that although students who had been victimised by traditional bullying reported that they felt their bullying was harsher and crueller and had more impact on their lives than those students who had been cyberbullied, the correlates of their mental health revealed that cybervictims reported significantly more social difficulties, and 20 higher levels of anxiety and depression than traditional victims. The implications for school counsellors and mental health workers are discussed.

Campbell, M, Slee, P.T. , Spears, B., Butler, D., & Kift. S. (2013). Do cyberbullies suffer too? Cyberbullies’ perceptions of the harm they cause to others and to their own mental health. International School Psychology, 1, 1.1-27

While it is recognised that there are serious correlates for students who are victims of cyberbullying including depression, anxiety, lower self-esteem and social difficulties, there has been little research attention paid to the mental health of students who cyberbully. It is known that students who traditionally bully report they feel indifferent to their victims, showing a lack of empathy and that they themselves are at increased risk for difficulties with school, psychosocial adjustment, externalising behaviours, and delinquency in late adolescence and early adulthood, substance abuse and psychiatric problems. However, there is scarce research on the empathy and the mental health associations of students who cyberbully. The current study sought to ascertain from students who reported cyberbullying others in years 6 to 12 (10-19 years of age) in Australia, their perceptions of the harm they caused to and the impact their actions had, on their victims. In a sample of 3,119 students, 237 students (7.8%) reported they had cyberbullied others in the past year. Forty-three percent of students who cyberbullied others thought that their bullying behaviour was ‘harsh’ and 26% thought their actions had an ‘impact’ on their victims. Cyberbullies’ difficulties scores on of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (Goodman, 1997) were higher than non-cyberbullies whilst they scored lower on the pro-social subscale. On the DASS-21 (Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995) students who cyberbullied scored lower on depression and anxiety than their victims but higher than those students who were not involved in bullying. The implications of these findings for the mental health of the cyberbullies are discussed.

Cross, D., Epstein, M., Hearn, L., Slee, P.T., Shaw, T., Monks, H., & Schwartz, T. (2011). National safe schools framework: Policy and practice to reduce bullying in Australian schools. International Journal of behavioural development, 1-7.

In 2003 Australia was one of the first countries to develop an integrated national policy, called the National Safe Schools Framework (NSSF), for the prevention and management of violence, bullying, and other aggressive behaviors. The effectiveness of this framework has not yet been formally evaluated. Cross-sectional data collected in 2007 from 7,418 students aged 9 to 14 years old and 453 teachers from 106 representative Australian schools were analyzed to determine teachers’ perceptions about the extent of implementation of theNSSF, teachers’ capacity to address student bullying, and students’ reports of bullying in their school, 4 years following the framework’s dissemination. While methodological issues limit the findings, schools appear not to have widely implemented the recommended safe school practices, teachers appear to need more training to address bullying, especially covert bullying, and bullying prevalence among students seems relatively unchanged compared to Australian data collected 4 years prior to the launch of the NSSF.