Investigating the potential of peer-to-peer communications in Australian bullying campaigns targeting youth

McWilliam, Kelly, King, Robert, Drennan, Judy, & Cunningham, Stuart (2016) Investigating the potential of peer-to-peer communications in Australian bullying campaigns targeting youth. Communication Research and Practice, 2(2), pp. 213-228.

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Abstract

Bullying is now recognised as a public health issue with well-documented impacts on mental health and well-being. In recent years, campaigns and interventions designed to reduce bullying, particularly among youth, have increasingly focused on digital media and social media in particular. The increased focus on social media has allowed a concomitant consideration of peer-to-peer communication as a means of facilitating behaviour changes. This paper hypothesises that anti-bullying campaigns employing peer-to-peer communications will be more effective than those without a (or with a limited) peer-to-peer component. To test this hypothesis, we assessed the impact of two Australian anti-bullying campaigns using a repeated-measures approach on 849 people aged between 16 and 24. The campaigns examined were the Inspire Foundation’s ‘Bullying – Don’t Stand By, Stand Up’ campaign, which ran on Facebook between June and September 2011 and relied entirely on peer-to-peer communication, and the Australian government’s ‘Bullying. No Way!’ campaign: an information-based website that contained limited peer-to-peer components. The study found that while both campaigns effectively influenced attitudes towards bullying, the Facebook campaign rated more highly regarding ‘honesty of message’, suggesting peer-to-peer communication has a stronger resonance for young people.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 98717
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Bullying, youth, youth bullying, peer-to-peer communication, social marketing, digital media, social media
DOI: 10.1080/22041451.2016.1185929
ISSN: 2204-1451
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Media Studies (200104)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Research Centres > Digital Media Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Funding:
Copyright Owner: 2016 Australian and New Zealand Communication Association
Deposited On: 07 Sep 2016 22:38
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 19:06

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