Population Health

This assessment provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge of population health principles and epidemiology to a public health issue in Cockatoo Rest.

Each student needs to complete this assignment independently (i.e, as an individual).

The issue: In response to two teenage age suicides attributed to cyberbullying, the town newspaper, “Cockatoo Rest News”, surveyed readers on the prevalence and extent of cyberbullying. The results indicated that cyberbullying was not limited to people of school age (Table 1).

Table 1: Cyberbullying Survey Results (Source: Cockatoo Rest News).

Number of people that responded


Cyberbullying as an infectious process

Cyberbullying could be considered a form of social infection. From an epidemiological perspective, infectious or communicable diseases require interactions between an agent, a host and an environment where the:

Agent = negative, demeaning or abusive opinions or views

Host = Individual people

Environment = social environments both real and social media

Transmission of negative, demeaning or abusive opinions or views (agent) occurs via electronic media. There could be direct transmission (person to person via text or specific messages posted between people on social media) or indirect transmission (secondary conversations, forwarded text messages, links between social media). Some people may act as carriers of the negative, demeaning or abusive opinions or views.

Hosts (individual people) vary in their susceptibility to negative, demeaning or abusive opinions or views. The incubation period could be defined as the time interval between the individual’s exposure to negative, demeaning or abusive opinions or views and the onset of symptoms within the individual. The infectious period might be defined as the time frame between sending or posting the original negative, demeaning or abusive opinion or view and the time at which there are no further responses, views or forwards of the original

message. It might be possible to investigate and manage an outbreak of cyberbullying using principles of

infectious diseases management (patient zero, reproductive rate, herd immunity).

Your task:

As a member of the Cockatoo Rest Public Health Team, you have been asked to write a proposal for a town

strategy for reducing the prevalence and impact of cyberbullying.

Your task is NOT to summarise the existing guidelines or strategies for addressing cyberbullying, but to write a

proposal specific to the town of Cockatoo Rest. You will need to read widely and understand what is meant by

the term cyberbullying, who is at greatest risk of being or perpetrating cyberbullying, the health impacts of

cyberbullying (short and long term), whether any government, state or institutional guidelines and

recommendations exist and whether these guidelines /recommendations inform your proposal for Cockatoo

Rest. This is YOUR town and you need to write a proposal which puts the health of this population first.

* The best proposal will be considered for inclusion in the Cockatoo Rest Health Archive after assessments have

been completed. The report with the highest mark will be able to be viewed within the course site (pending the

authors consent and appropriately attributed to the author) and available as a resource to future students of

this course.

The report needs to with the following sections and each of these should have a subheading:


Contains statements regarding the purpose, scope of content and point of view to be developed in the main

body of the report.

2: HEALTH IMPLICATIONS RELATED TO CYBERBULLYING. This section should include a clear definition of

cyberbullying and evidence of the health implications (short and long term) for victims and /or perpetrators of

cyberbullying. This section must be supported by up to date and authoritative Australian references including

data on the prevalence of cyberbullying.

3: PROPOSAL (PLAN) for investigating and managing NEXT outbreak of cyberbullying for Cockatoo Rest:

using principles of infectious diseases management. You should consider:

 Surveillance –how would you know that an incidence of cyberbullying has occurred? What action is

proposed once a cyberbullying attack has occurred?

 Reproductive rate – How will you track the spread of the cyberbullying incident?

 Herd immunity – How do you propose to develop a “vaccine” to protect people from cyberbullying?

What form could a “vaccine” for cyberbullying take? How to do you propose to ensure herd immunity

for your population of interest?

 Cyber-hygiene – What steps should be taken to eradicate or limit the electronic transmission of

negative, demeaning or abusive opinions or views?

You may choose to focus upon a specific segment of the population (school age, workforce or retirees) and /or

an environment (schools, employees of health or commercial workplaces, social groups etc).

This section does not need to be supported by “evidence” but wherever possible should include appropriately

referenced peer reviewed material to support actions in your proposal. Remember this is your town and your

proposal to eradicate/limit cyberbullying attacks and the damage cyberbullying does to individuals and the

wider community. As long as you are not proposing to kill people who perpetrate cyberbullying, then all other

propositions could be considered.


Draws together the main points of the proposal but does not present new information.

5: REFERENCE LIST: Both in text references and the reference list need to be formatted according to the

Harvard author-date style.

Format requirements:

The assignment should be titled “Cyberbullying Proposal for Cockatoo Rest” and your name and student ID

number should be included under the title.This assignment should not exceed 2000 words (which includes in

text references but not the reference list or tables). Assessors will do a quick word count and any text

exceeding the 2000 word limit will be highlighted and NOT assessed (In this course the max word limit IS the

maximum word limit, i.e., NOT ± 10%). Text should be formatted with 1.5 spacing and size 12 font. For

tables/graphs you may use single (1.0) spacing and 10 point font (but no smaller than this).


Please submit your assignment to Gradebook. The file must be labelled with your name and assignment

number (eg John Smith Assignment 2). All assignments will be automatically assessed by Turn It In. When

submitting electronically through Gradebook do not use a cover sheet.

Note: Turnitin compares your assignment against all assignments in the Turnitin databases AND all

electronic resources such as the web or library databases and provides a similarity report. The report

highlights text, images or tables which is similar to another source and calculates a percentage. The

percentage on its own means very little, because if you have referenced sources, then these references

should be identified by Turnitin as being similar to library databases or the original source. For any

assignment where you are required to use references, the similarity report percentage will never be zero


When using Turnitin, you MUST OPEN and READ the Turnitin report, not just look at the similarity

percentage. Your Turnitin report should ALWAYS show your references/reference list as being similar or

the same as another source. BUT unless you have directly quoted (and correctly referenced text as a direct

quote), there should no other text identified as similar to another source. If Turnitin has highlighted areas

of text within your assignment that is not a direct quote and referenced as such, this is likely to be word

for word copying from a source or paraphrasing of the source; and this is plagiarism. It is always worth

reading your Turnitin report and if needed, amend your assignment BEFORE you submit the final version.

Please note that it takes around 30 minutes to generate a Turnitin report or longer in peak periods.


This assignment is worth 40 % of the marks for this course. The marking scheme can be found within the

Assessment section of the course site (Assignment 2 assessment guidelines).

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