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Conceptualizing Cyberbullying Victimization Prevention Among Pakistani Youth

Keywords: cyberbullying, victimization, internet-efficacy, risky behaviours, law, cybercrimes, personality traits, cyberbystanders

Published onNov 03, 2021
Conceptualizing Cyberbullying Victimization Prevention Among Pakistani Youth

Globally, where increased exposure to information and communication technology (ICT) has improved youth’s efficacy in using technology and internet, it is also posing unique challenges and threat to mental health of youth in context of cyberbullying victimization. Out of 207.0 million population in Pakistan, 64% of is below 30 years (Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, 2017; UNDP, 2017). Mobile users are 183.20 million; 46.4% is broadband penetration; while internet subscribers are 100.67 million (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, 2021). COVID-19 pandemic has increased internet exposure manifold for school-going and university students. Being avid user of internet, Pakistani youth needs immediate attention for guided and appropriate use of technology and internet to capitalise upon their internet efficacy and enjoy latest technological advancements without fear of being victimised in cyberspace. This symposium is based on four independent studies that provide insight about underlying dynamics of cyberbullying victimization among youth. These helped in conceptualising a prevention program to curb cybervictimization among Pakistani youth, which is in the process of implementation. A few findings of these studies are shared and discussed in cultural context. Findings reveal that online risky behaviours, personality traits like being callous and unemotional, lacking in empathy, and moral disengagement are behind risky and unethical practices in cyberspace that pave way to cyberbullying victimization. Internet efficacy for ethical use of internet; awareness of law related to electronic/cybercrimes; whom and how to report experiences related to cyberbullying victimization; and role of parents have been highlighted that are incorporated in prevention program later.

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