What they found was that cyber-aggression occurs in the mainstream of the school and largely among friends, former friends, and former dating partners. They also found that non-heterosexual students were more likely to be the victims. Examples of the types of harassment found online were posting humiliating photos, texting vicious rumors, posting that a student is gay and making fun of him, and pretending to befriend a lonely person.
"Cyber-aggression occurred most often among relatively popular young people, rather than among those on the fringes of the school hierarchy," Felmlee says. "Those engaging in cyber-aggression also were unlikely to target strangers but often were in close relationships with their victims at one point in time, close enough to know how to harm them."
The researchers found that some of the processes that contribute to aggression in school include jockeying for status, enforcing norms of conformity, and competing for girlfriends or boyfriends.
How our online image affects our relationships
Even more innocuous online interactions can prove problematic for offline relationships, psychologists are finding. One new study shows that disclosing more about ourselves online actually lessens intimacy and satisfaction among romantic couples.
"We found that contrary to the research on offline self-disclosure, which shows that more offline disclosure leads to higher intimacy and relationship satisfaction between both romantic couples and friends," says Juwon Lee of the University of Kansas, "online self-disclosure was negatively associated with intimacy and satisfaction between couples."
In a seri
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Society for Personality and Social Psychology