compare and contrast a popular mainstream article on cyber bullying with an article on the same topic in peer-reviewed scientific literature

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Ashford Graduate Intro Week Six Discussion Two: 2 Examples

Example One: The purpose of this discussion is to compare and contrast a popular mainstream article on cyber bullying with an article on the same topic in peer-reviewed scientific literature. Cyber bullying is certainly a very important issue in the modern world, where we are, in many ways, more connected and able to interact with each other technologically than ever before. With the overall volume of social networking among youths and adolescents up, the dangers posed by online abuse and bullying has come to the forefront in public awareness and has become a topic often discussed in the mass media. With multiple high profile cases of adolescents committing suicide as a result of constant cyber bullying, it is clear that the issue is a serious one with deep psychological effects. The two articles used in this discussion are a USA Today article by Robin Erb, entitled Social-media abuse rampant in middle, high school, and an entry from a 2013 edition of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence entitled, Cyber bullying and internalizing difficulties: Above and beyond the impact of traditional form of bullying. The most striking difference between the two articles can be found in the use of language. The USA Today article is well-written, but it is done so in a manner that is clearly intended to be easily consumable for both parents and potential young readers. The scholarly article, naturally, is much more matter-of-fact and is clearly not designed for the casual reader, void of the colorful language and first-person accounts heavily featured in Erb’s piece. For instance, terms such as “throwing shade” are mentioned, and one quote reads, “teenagers have these squishy little half-formed brains” (Erb, 2015). This use of casual language is not brought up to belittle the article in any way, because it actually is written in a way in which the average reader is much more likely to read the article to its completion and also more likely to understand the content once they are finished than is the more complex journal entry. However, for someone who is truly interested in the topic and wants to explore it more fully, the journal entry provides a much deeper insight into the psychological effects of cyber bullying and how those psychological effects correlate with real-world consequences. It also brings up a few factors and concepts that are not openly discussed in the USA Today article, such as the fact that evidence shows that “students who are cyber victimized are less likely to report or seek help than teens who were victimized by more traditional means” (Bonnano & Hymel, 2013, p. 695). Perhaps the most important commonality between these two articles, besides the overall topic itself, is the intent of the work. While the information is disseminated in a very different manner, the overall message may be the same. Both articles are meant to bring awareness to this issue and to stress just how important it is, and both articles also conclude with a call for action. In the case of the USA Today article, that action is called for from adults and especially parents, closing with a list of “five reminders for your kids” meant to encourage parent-child communication (Erb, 2015). In a similar fashion, the professional journal entry calls for this potentially escalating issue to be addressed “in both research and practice, with the same rigor that traditional forms of bullying are” (Bonnano & Hymel, 2013, p. 695). 1

—- Bonnano, R., & Hymel, S. (2013). Cyber bullying and internalizing difficulties: Above and beyond the impact of traditional forms of bullying. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42(5), 685-697. 10.1007/s10964-013-9937-1. Erb, R. (2015, April 12). Social-media abuse rampant in middle, high school. USA Today. Retrieved from: study/25652655/.

Example Two:

The topic of Mindfulness Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MCBT) will be addressed

in this discussion. MCBT is a type of behavioral therapy wherein the person receiving the

therapy is taught to “recognize and disengage from maladaptive patterns of thinking”

(Barnhofer, Crane, Brennan, Duggan, Crane, Eames, & Williams, 2015, pg. 1014). The

title of the article and study by Barnhofer, et al. (2015) that will be part of this discussion is

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Reduces the Association between

Depressive Symptoms and Suicidal Cognitions in Patients with a History of Suicidal

Depression. This is an article retrieved from a scholarly journal which has been peer-

reviewed. In comparing and contrasting, the use of the article Mindfulness and

Depression: Perhaps it’s Time to Harness the Power of Mindfulness as Treatment (2016)

by Dr. Mark Borgini as published in Psychology Today magazine.

Behavioral therapy is not a new concept; however MCBT is a more recent addition

to the genre. In everyday life, I have noticed many people talking about mindfulness in the

context of meditation, yoga, and prayer for relieving stress, anxiety and depression. In a

deeper sense – though MCBT can integrate methods such as those listed – MCBT is more

than a fad that everyone is talking about and dabbling in for relief; it is a researched

therapeutic method in the field of psychology (Barnhofer, et al., 2015).


The commonalities between these two articles are quite numerous, yet so are the

differences. First, each article gives a definition of MCBT, the feelings associated with

depression, and statistics regarding the usefulness of MCBT as a therapeutic tool. With that

said, the Psychology Today Article is written in a manner befitting a popular publication for

one who has an interest in psychology on a superficial level, while the scholarly article is

written for someone with a deeper desire for understanding. This is not necessarily a bad

thing on either side, but it is a significant difference. The Psychology Today article uses a

more common vocabulary and has a narrow and succinct scope – an article that could fit

into the time span in a waiting area or train commute. In contrast, the scholarly article uses

words more attuned to an academic tone. The scope, while still narrow enough to remain

on topic, is expanded to include much more information. An example of this is that in the

Psychology Today article, a statistic is given regarding the efficacy of MCBT, while the

same statistical analysis made in the scholarly journal provides the subject group, means,

methods, measurements, and an analysis of the results. So much information is given in the

scholarly article, in fact, that someone with a superficial interest in MCBT would probably

not seek out the article let alone read it in its entirety.

In conclusion, the popular magazine Psychology today definitely has its merits for

those who wish to gather a superficial amount of information on the topic of MCBT.

Someone who reads the article would take away from it an understanding of the basics of

MCBT and could reasonably apply some of the information to their own life. However,

for a complete understanding of MCBT and maximum benefit, one would need to delve

deeper into the subject and search out scholarly articles, especially if one is going to be


applying it for use for more than a bad day or week, as depression is a serious mental

illness that can have drastic consequences when not treated properly.

Barnhofer, T., Crane, C., Brennan, K., Duggan, D. S., Crane, R. S., Eames, C., & …

Williams, J. G. (2015). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) reduces the

association between depressive symptoms and suicidal cognitions in patients with a

history of suicidal depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83(6),

1013-1020. doi:10.1037/ccp0000027

Borigini, M., M.D. (2016). Mindfulness and depression: Perhaps it’s time to harness the

power of mindfulness as treatment. Psychology Today. Retrieved from pain/201605/mindfulness-and-



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