Milner's Theory of Status Relations and Cyberbullying Among U.S. Adolescents
Yost, Lisa Robinson
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This research examines the relationship between status and cyberbullying among U.S. adolescents. It distinguishes between several status variables and three categories of involvement in cyberbullying: bullies, victims, and non-participants. Utilizing Milner's (2016) theory of status relations, it was hypothesized that cyberbullying is a means by which high school students attempt to gain status among their peers and enforce the status hierarchy of their schools. The more rigid the differentiation between peer groups in a high school, the more likely there would be cyberbullying present. In addition, this research examined if any differences in cyberbullying existed based on the location of the high school in an urban or rural area. Using a multinomial logistic regression to analyze survey data collected from a university in southwest Virginia, partial support for Milner's (2016) theory was found as some status variables, in particular social association, group mobility, and individual mobility, were related to cyberbullying, but no significant results were found by location type. This research contributes a to new theoretical framework for examining cyberbullying and advances the discussion on the influence of peers in cyberbullying, which can impact prevention and intervention efforts aimed at curbing cyberbullying among adolescents.
General Audience Abstract
This dissertation examines the effects of popularity and peer groups on cyberbullying among US adolescents. Milner (2016) argued that popularity matters in his theory of status relations and implied the more peer groups were differentiated in a school, the more likely bullying was present in the school. Milner (2016) argued bullying was one way students tried to gain popularity in a school setting. However, Milner's (2016) theory has never been tested. This research tests Milner's (2016) to see if it can explain cyberbullying among U.S. youth. College students at a university in southwest Virginia were surveyed about their cyberbullying experiences in high school and asked about popularity of different groups and themselves. Using statistical methods, the data was analyzed and found some support for the assertion that popularity and peer groups matter when it comes to cyberbullying. In addition, this dissertation examined if the location of the high school (urban, suburban, town or rural) impacted cyberbullying, but no support was found for this hypothesis.
- Doctoral Dissertations