Psychology

This study aims to test the impact of cultural
differences on levels of cyber aggression involvement. The hypothesis that
Australian adolescents would report higher levels of cyber aggression
involvement than Chinese adolescents is expected to be supported.

The relationship
between different countries and a higher level of cyber aggression may be
mediated by the impact of individualistic and collectivistic cultures to
inhibit higher effect. Such results might be supported by the literature,
suggesting that Australian culture promotes individualistic behaviors while
Chinese culture fosters collectivism behaviors. One potential explanation may
be the cultural differences between these two countries. In a collectivistic
culture where individuality is downplayed in favour of the collective
well-being may have developed the Chinese adolescents to be more socially
responsible (Wright, Kamble and Soudi, 2015).
This is plausible since the Confucian and Taoist, focuses on social order and
harmony (Wright et al., 2015). Due to
this behaviour, Chinese adolescents would extend social responsibility to the
online world as well.

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A lack of
relationship between culture and cyber aggression in the current study may be
related to the age gap between cyberbullying among Chinese and Australian
adolescents growing smaller as the Chinese become older and increase their
access to the social communication world (Wright,
Kamble and Soudi, 2015). There is some sort of threshold – once a
student crosses this threshold their mastery of social communication increases
exponentially, and consequently their involvement in the misuse of social media
(Mishna et al., 2012). It is possible
that Australian adolescents simply reach this threshold before entering middle school,
while the Chinese adolescents are progressively heading toward this threshold
throughout middle school, crossing it at some point in high school (Mishna et al., 2012).

 

The proposed study has some potential limitations. The
present study provides evidence that indicates that Australians use social
media more and have a higher level of cyber aggression. What it has not
addressed are the school policies in place regarding technology use, the
student’s access to technology in both private and public places, and both
parents’ and school personnel’s attitudes towards the students’ use of technology.
Additionally, the results will
be restricted to middle school students only, which may not be representative
of the public. Future research should
manipulate the amount of use of technology and examine a more varied
participant sample to establish causality between cyber aggression and culture.
Furthermore, educating middle schoolers on the impact of cyber aggression may
have a positive impact on their ability to respect other middle schoolers
feelings. 

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