In the digital era, where technology dominates over communication, connection and social relationships, the staggering rise of cyberbullying proves to be detrimental to the social and mental psyche of people. The limited research present regarding the crisis fails to provide sufficient data to critically analyse and initiate policies to combat the same. In this regard, Dr Dhamodharan M and Dr Sunaina K, faculty from the Department of Psychology have conducted insightful research into cyberbullying, the role of technology and the challenges in tackling the act. The faculty duo has published a book chapter titled “Cyberbullying – A Disturbed Psyche and Digital Abuse in 21st Century” in the book In Analyzing New Forms of Social Disorders in Modern Virtual Environments in IGI Global Publishers (US).
Cyberbullying is ‘a violent, planned act carried out by a group or specific, using electronic forms of communication, frequently and over time in contradiction of a victim who cannot easily protect him or herself.’ (Smith et al., 2008). According to the UNICEF and Broadband search survey 2023, around 36.5 out of a hundred people feel they were cyberbullied at least once in life, and seventeen percent of people experienced cyberbullying in the last month. 60 out of 100 adolescents experienced cyberbullying. Seventy percent of youths have reported perpetrators. Sixteen percent of women have been stalked at least once in life. 1 in 19 men have been stalked at some point. Fifty percent of LGBTQ people experience cyberbullying. Girls face cyberbullying more than boys. Around 36 percent of girls experience cyberbullying, whereas 24 percent of boys experience cyberbullying. Eighty-three percent of the victims who experienced online bullying also experienced physical bullying. Around 42 percent of the people experience cyberbullying on Instagram, followed by Facebook at 37%, Snapchat at 31%, WhatsApp at 12%, YouTube at 10%, and Twitter at 9%. Cyberbullying refers to using digital technologies such as cyberspace, societal broadcasting platforms, direct messaging, and email to bother, intimidate, or harm others.
This chapter provides an indication of cyberbullying, including its definition, incidence, and impact on individuals and society. Firstly, the chapter reviews the existing research on cyberbullying, exploring its different forms and characteristics and the psychological and social consequences for both victims and perpetrators. Secondly, the role of technology in facilitating and exacerbating cyberbullying is also examined, focusing on the anonymity and distance that online platforms provide. Thirdly, legal and ethical considerations surrounding cyberbullying including the challenges of enforcing laws and policies online are explored. Finally, the chapter highlights the importance of a comprehensive and collaborative approach involving parents, educators, policymakers, and online platforms to address cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is a pervasive problem with significant and long-lasting consequences for people, their families, and society. It is essential to address cyberbullying thoroughly and implement effective prevention measures to create a more secure and respectful online environment. Cyberbullying can have detrimental effects on its victims, leading to feelings of helplessness, mental health issues, trouble with schoolwork, and even self-harm or suicide. In addition, cyberbullying affects the social fabric of groups, and trust, and impedes the proper growth of individuals, especially children and adolescents. Cyberbullying has a shocking prevalence worldwide, and it is spreading over to people silently. Traditional bullying differs from cyberbullying; it occurs to the victims in various forms and levels.Continue reading →
In a proud moment that highlights our institution’s commitment to excellence and innovation, we are thrilled to share the success of a recent poster presentation that graced the global stage.Dr Aswini S, Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology at SRM University-AP recently represented the varsity at the American Psychological Association (APA) Convention in Washington, DC from August 3 – 5, 2023. The occasion was a prestigious Poster Presentation, titled, “The Other Side of Support: Toxic Social Reactions Experienced by Individuals with Mental Illness”
Social support is undeniably an important aspect of everyday life, and it is particularly
important in the context of challenges. The role of social support as a protective factor is well established (Wright et al., 2013) in research, especially in the context of mental illness (Frame, 1981; Teo et al., 2020). While acknowledging the overwhelming evidence on the importance of social support, there is scant literature on the negative experiences of seeking and receiving support. The qualitative investigation revealed the toxic social reactions under the disguise of social support as reported by participants with mental illness (N=17). Participants experienced interactions which sometimes resembled social support but were either harmful or not beneficial to them. The frequently reported reactions of participants are trivialising of symptoms, toxic positivity, and fake sympathy. In comparison to physical illness, the indicators of mental illness are less objectively perceptible to others. Hence, the practice of dismissing symptoms and attributing disorders as momentary feelings, or imaginary experiences are found to be common. Moreover, the suggestion to be positive and reject anything that may trigger negative emotions along with the display of fake sympathy by people around is also found in participant narratives. This signifies the importance of studying social support through different dimensions rather than just focusing only on support that is helpful and beneficial. Future explorations can focus on understanding specific sources of support, kinds of support and the impact that such challenges have on the quality of relationships with significant others.
Keywords: Toxic positivity, mental illness, social support
The remarkable achievement underscores not only the quality of education we provide but also the dedication of our faculty in making impactful contributions to their fields.Continue reading →
During the Two-day National Conference on Youth Development titled Youth in the 21st Century: Prospects and Psychosocial Challenges, organised by Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD), Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, in collaboration with ICMR – NIRT, Chennai, Dr Dhamodharan, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, presented a lecture on Status of the Youth in Fishing Community in Terms of Education, Health, and Violence.
Over sixty percent of the fisher population in India is Below Poverty Line (BPL). For traditional fishers, fishing is their primary source of income, and they have no other options. Hence, families in the coastal village are socially, financially, and educationally disadvantaged and frequently face financial difficulties. Additionally, the literacy level of the fishing community is deficient. Fishers have met an unbalanced diet, tension, excessive drinking, tobacco usage, and harmful behaviours. Fisher communities are often underprivileged and constitutionally and communally isolated from other communities. Limited research has been conducted on the fishing community youth, particularly in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. Hence, the study needs to be understood and conducted for the fishing community youth regarding education, health, and violence. The empirical study combined quantitative and qualitative approaches to Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry fishing community youth. The study tools used for the data collection are a semi-structured questionnaire for youth for their perspective on health care, school, violence, and family support and a semi-structured questionnaire to the parents regarding their perspective on their children’s education, health, violence, and family support. Twenty case studies were conducted in the selected clusters. Also conducted were key informant interviews with fishing community leaders in four clusters. The results showed that more than 50 % of participants face verbal violence, more than 80 % face physical violence, and nearly 25% face sexual violence. The fishing community is an under-educated, predominantly nuclear family, and the family income is less than ten thousand rupees monthly. Physical abuse had significantly associated with place of residence, Puducherry residing youth had more physical abuse than Tamil Nadu. The social-economic condition of the family and the parental education seemed to be better in the state of Tamil Nadu as compared to Puducherry. Youths from Puducherry had a greater risk of experiencing physical and verbal abuse. Parents had a relatively low level of awareness and understanding of child rights and laws. The study’s results helped to understand the problem of fisher community youth and their perception of parental care, education, health, and violence.
Practical Implementation of the Findings
As the world grapples with the escalating challenges of urbanisation and environmental degradation, the concept of green smart cities has emerged as a promising solution. Green smart cities integrate advanced technologies, sustainable practices, and innovative urban planning to create environmentally friendly, resource-efficient, and liveable urban spaces. However, implementing green smart cities poses numerous multidisciplinary challenges that require careful consideration and collaborative efforts from various fields.
Assistant Professors Dr Dhamodharan M and Dr Aehsan Ahmad Dar from the Department of Psychology have published a chapter titled Multidisciplinary Challenges in Green Smart Cities Implementation in the book Green Blockchain Technology for Sustainable Smart Cities in Elsevier, which is Scopus Indexed.
Focusing on challenges in green smart cities implementation will help the policymakers, government, and public to get aware of the problems related to all aspects. Implementing green smart cities may provide difficulties in the previously described dimensions of governance, economics, social interaction, technology, and ethics. Therefore, as the world’s population grows, there is a need to adapt to the changes, such as green smart cities. Government, policymakers, and the general public should adopt solutions to societal issues supported by science and research. The next generation will find it convenient and necessary to develop green smart cities. The world will prosper with green smart cities if policymakers, the government, and the people simultaneously identify the issues and begin the work properly with the right strategy and support.
Villages are the pride of the nation. Nevertheless, cities reflect the nation’s growth and prospects. Department of Economic and Social Affairs in the United Nations explained that the universe’s people will be nearly 70 % in urban areas by 2050. Cities worldwide are facing important issues with increasing urbanisation, environmental sustainability, unemployment, slums, and mitigation of climate variation. So, policymakers and researchers focused on the concept of a smart city to manage these challenges. Consequently, the concept of “Smart Green Cities” came into the picture. Smart green cities are the collaborative hub linked with business, government, education, and the public to generate comfortable living in urban environments by encouraging change with scientific-based problem-solving. In simple terms, Green smart cities are technologically advanced in solving problems without harming the environment. For Implementing green smart cities, developed and developing countries are collaborating and signing a memorandum of understanding with one another. Government representatives, educators, and the public should cooperate to make a green smart city successful.
Green smart cities make global connectedness, productivity, efficiency, and revolution possible. Meanwhile, poorly regulated green smart cities will result in environmental difficulties like socioeconomic inequalities, poor public safety, and conservational destruction. Furthermore, implementing green smart cities is not a simple strategy. This chapter discusses multidisciplinary challenges in green smart cities’ implementation. People face challenges through green smart cities implementation in the following sustainability dimensions such as Blockchain challenges, Governance challenges, Economic challenges, Social challenges, Technology challenges, Environmental challenges, and Ethical challenges.
Dr Aehsan Ahmad Dar, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, delivered a lecture titled Impact of Childhood Adversity on the Mental Health of Young Adults in Kashmir at the Two – day National Conference on Youth Development held on March 24 and 25, 2023. Youth in the 21st Century: Prospects and Psychosocial Challenges was the theme of the conference, which was organised by the Department of Social Work and Department of Applied Psychology, Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD), Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, in collaboration with ICMR – NIRT, Chennai.
Abstract of the Lecture
The study examines the impact of Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on mental health among young adults in Kashmir. A cross-sectional research design was followed to study the effect of ACEs on the mental health of Kashmiri youth by employing a multi-stage sampling method. Data were collected from 693 research participants who were studying in different colleges and universities in Kashmir, with the help of the Adverse Childhood Experiences scale and Mental Health Inventory (MHI-18). Findings revealed that various adversities during childhood, including psychological abuse, physical abuse, contact sexual abuse, household substance abuse, violent household treatment of mothers and fathers, household mental illness, and household criminal behaviour, had a significant impact on the mental health of Kashmiri youth in terms of increased anxiety, depression and loss of behavioural control and decreased positive affect.
Practical Implementation of the Findings
ACEs are traumatic events that individuals under 18 have experienced. Various individual, family, and community factors can affect a child’s likelihood of experiencing ACEs, and it causes long-term risks for mental health with the potential to carry over beyond the present generation. ACEs are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and adult risk-taking behaviours. There is a “dose-response relationship” between ACEs and health outcomes. Therefore, findings suggest advocating early targeted interventions to reduce ACEs and their impact on young people’s mental health in Kashmir. There is a need to design efficient measures, to enhance ACE resilience programs and ‘trauma-informed’ approaches to tackle the longer-term impact of ACEs on health and wellbeing.Continue reading →