Evaluating Efficacy of A Cyberbullying Intervention Programme For Children Under Age 13 in Changing Their Online Attitudes Toward Cyberbullying

Project Number
RP 2/14 LCK

Project Duration
November 2014 - October 2016

Status
In-Progress (Extended)

Abstract
Daily life in the modern age is infused with a seemingly nonstop barrage of digital media contents. This ongoing ICT revolution has enabled new forms of education, communication and networking. Iit has also brought about infollution (information + pollution) side effects among the general population, including technology addiction, cyber-crimes, and online bullying. Despite the mounting scientific evidence that infollution can negatively harm youth development, cyber-wellness programs and corresponding academic research to identify appropriate intervention models lag behind and there is a need to proactively help youth acquire the necessary skills, including awareness of risk factors and digital citizenship, for confident and responsible use of digital technologies. In Singapore, the iZ HERO Project was created as the world’s first educational entertainment platform to guide young children between ages 7 and 13 to become responsible digital citizens. Polling results from participants in the first stage of the iZ HERO Project supported by ICSC (Inter-Ministry Cyber Wellness Steering Committee) demonstrated that it has research-proven efficacy to improve some of children’s online attitudes to responsibly handle various cyber-risks. In the proposed research, the overall hypothesis is that development of a comprehensive platform comprising web-based platform, school and family programs will lead to sustained improvements in children’s abilities to practise responsible digital citizenship and to be cognizant of potential online risks. Thus this proposed research will initiate a series of next-generation iZ HERO activities to prevent cyber-bullying, and evaluate the short-term efficacy of anti-cyberbullying programs among primary school students in Singapore and their families. Endpoints will include changes in attitudes towards cyber-bullying and the number of reported cases in Singapore. This research program has practical significance to curtail a major threat among our children and strengthen Singapore’s status as a global leader in academic research in the cyber-wellness field.

Funding Source
NTU

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