Cyberbullying has become a growing trend in the last decade as the anonymity of online platforms fuels easier ways to intimidate peers. This study investigated the association between being a victim of cyberbullying and Grade 9 mathematics achievement. The study aimed to identify the frequency of cyberbullying and associated risk factors (predictors) explored including, a) gender, b) parental involvement and expectations, c) school location and SES, d) teacher’s qualifications, e) technology use, and f) confidence in mathematics ability. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model of micro-, meso-, exo- macro- and chrono-systems were utilised to interpret the way systems influenced cyberbullying and mathematics achievement. This study used secondary analysis, using the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019 South African data from the TIMSS questionnaires completed by the learners, teachers, and principals. The selected classes included 519 schools, 519 principals, 54 mathematics teachers and 20,829 learners in South Africa. TIMSS is a study with a two-stage stratified cluster sampling design. At the first stage, schools were sampled, and at the second stage, intact classes within schools were sampled. The IEA IDB Analyzer program was used to analyse the data; the software was specifically designed to work with complex sampling procedures, weights and multiple imputed achievement scores. The research showed that cyberbullying is a significant predictor of mathematics achievement. If a learner is at a higher risk of being a cyber victim, their mathematics achievement will decrease. The research highlights the risk of adolescent cyberbullying and provides recommendations, such as possible interventions, based on the findings.
Dissertation (MEd (Assessment and Quality Assurance))--University of Pretoria, 2021.