The prevalence of cyberbullying and related mental health among academic employees in a university in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Ateyah, M 2021, The prevalence of cyberbullying and related mental health among academic employees in a university in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Rationale: The increased usage of technology and online social media has brought about a rise in harmful cyberbullying behaviours. Most of the research into cyberbullying has focused on child and adolescent populations, and less is known about the phenomenon in working adults, particularly university academic staff. As such, the aim of the primary research study was to assess the prevalence of cyberbullying amongst academic staff at a university within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and to explore the associations between cyberbullying and mental health. Methods: A comprehensive literature review was undertaken into the prevalence and consequences of cyberbullying in university faculty. Subsequently, a questionnaire study was conducted within a Saudi university, and completed by 389 academic staff members in total. Findings: The literature review highlighted the fact that there have been very few studies exploring cyberbullying in the Middle East. The subsequent questionnaire study revealed that more than half of Saudi academic staff members were exposed to at least one cyberbullying act at some point in the last six months, approximately (5%) could be classified as target of cyberbullying, due to having experienced cyberbullying on at least a weekly basis for the previous six months and (17.7%) reported themselves as victims on at least weekly basis. Cyberbullying exposure was statistically associated with mental health levels, even after controlling for demographic characteristics and potential sources of work and life stressors. Conclusion: The study highlighted that cyberbullying is a serious concern within Saudi universities. Therefore, institutional and national bodies should consider which policies can effectively reduce the likelihood of cyberbullying, and which support mechanisms should be in place for the victims of cyberbullying. Contribution: The study adds to the general lack of research exploring cyberbullying in the Middle East. Additionally, the study is the first to explore the relationship between cyberbullying and mental health in a sample consisting solely of academic faculty.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Weinberg, A (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Depositing User: MA Ateyah
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2021 14:16
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 14:47

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