Author(s)

Gail Horakh

Date Approved

9-4-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Learning Disabilities

Department

Language, Literacy and Special Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Kuder, S Jay

Subject(s)

Cyberbullying;Learning disabled children

Disciplines

Special Education and Teaching

Abstract

Cyberbullying is a new and growing problem that is affecting the youth of today. Children who are classified, under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are thought to be particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying. Parents play a vital role in raising their children and keeping them safe. This study examines whether parents having a child classified, under IDEA, have the same concerns and report the same experiences regarding cyberbullying as parents with a non-classified child. A thirty question survey was administered to parents through an online website called Survey Monkey. The questions were designed to answer five main research questions about cyberbullying. The questions were asked to parents who have a classified child, and then asked again to those parents whose children are not classified. The results of this study found that parents having a child not classified, under IDEA, were more concerned about cyberbullying. Parents having a child classified under IDEA were more aware of cyberbullying and went to a greater extent to protect their child from cyberbullying by monitoring online activity. Additionally, more parents having a classified child reported their child was a victim of cyberbullying; however the gap was narrower than expected. Additional studies would be beneficial to examine if parental responses regarding cyberbullying experiences match what their children report by surveying the children in addition to the parents.

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