Meet Robin Kowalski, Ph.D.—Centennial Professor of Psychology at Clemson University and lead author of the study published in AJO, “Racial differences in cyberbullying from the perspective of victims and perpetrators.”
Robin’s primary area of research expertise is in aversive interpersonal behaviors, with a particular focus on cyberbullying.
We asked Robin several questions about her study in AJO and other research she is currently working on.
Please list 3 key takeaways from your recent AJO publication:
Robin: (1) Both White and Black respondents reported high rates of having been bullied and cyberbullied at least once; (2) The most common venues for cyberbullying victimization in the current study were texting and social media; and (3) In spite of conflicting findings in previous research, the current study found that Blacks and Whites had few differences in their experiences with bullying and cyberbullying in terms of prevalence, outcomes, and responses. Thus, it is important to recognize that these behaviors can affect all individuals.
What are the policy implications of this research?
Robin: The results of our study suggest that bullying in all forms is a problem behavior that affects people of all demographics. It is important to recognize that anonymity online often hides identity features such as race. Thus, policymakers need to focus on antecedent and consequent conditions of the behavior that will lead to the best prevention and intervention methods for everyone.
What are you working on now?
Robin: Currently, a colleague and I are conducting a longitudinal study examining cyberbullying, particularly as it occurs during times of transition, such as entering college and the workforce. We are also interested in continuing investigations of the relationship between traditional bullying and cyberbullying, particularly as they both relate to mental and physical health outcomes.