Abstract

Intro: Cyberbullying is a global issue that usually occurs with increased social media usage. A number of studies have found significant gender differences in social media use and cyberbullying, although gender differences are not consistent across studies. Despite the increase in access to cellphones and Internet in Belize, no studies have investigated how adolescents are using these resources. The purpose of this study was to investigate gender differences involving how adolescents in Belize are using social media and if cyberbullying is a problem. Methods: A written 25 question survey was created based on previous cyberbullying and social media surveys. It consisted of ranking items, rating items on a 5-point scale, yes or no questions, and questions that asked students to check all that apply. Counselors from all six districts of Belize were asked to disseminate the surveys to all of the primary and secondary schools in their districts. Results: 303 participants responded with 68 males and 235 females. A chi-square test of independence found that females were significantly more likely to post very often to Snapchat, χ2 (4) = 13.78, p<.01, and Instagram, χ2 (4) = 14.95, p<.01. Females were also significantly more likely to prevent certain people from accessing their social media content, χ2 (1) = 5.67, p=0.02. Males were significantly more likely to use a gaming console for about six hours a day, χ2 (6) = 14.79, p<.05. 15% of the students had been a victim of cyberbullying and there was not a significant difference between genders, χ2 (1) = 2.28, p=0.10. However, females were significantly more likely to report cyberbullying to an adult, χ2 (3) = 8.84, p=0.03. Discussion: These results provide preliminary information about social media use and cyberbullying in Belize. It indicates that gender differences exist within social media use and cyberbully reporting, and future studies should investigate influencing cultural factors.

Advisor

Daniel Houlihan

Committee Member

Jeffrey Buchanan

Committee Member

Jasper Hunt

Date of Degree

2017

Language

english

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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