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A large body of research attests to the presence and adverse effects of cyberbullying with children, including decreased health outcomes (e.g., depression, anxiety, and aggression) and self-harm behavior for both perpetrators and victims.
We envision a novel approach that prevents cyberbullying among children by reinforcing positive online behavior.
The main goals of our proposal are to:
1. Protect children by detecting and preventing cyberbullying behavior.
2. Provide support for children’s mental health and well-being.
3. Assist parents and health professionals in caring for children to both avoid and cope with cyberbullying.
Accordingly, we plan to develop and test an intelligent, conversational agent (or chatbot) that a) detects cyberbullying behavior and suggests corrective actions for perpetrators and b) helps victims build resilience to cope with cyberbullying. Chatbots are widely used in mental therapy.