In 2011 Sara Bastiaensens (1989) graduated from the University of Antwerp as Master in Communication Studies: Strategic Communication. For her Master thesis she did research on the effectiveness of nature claims in beauty products advertising. After graduation she worked as an ad interim assistant at the department of Communication Studies at the University of Antwerp. From 2012 to 2016, Sara worked as a researcher and PhD student for the IWT-SBO project Friendly ATTAC at the University of Antwerp. Sara is student representative for the Health Communication division and member of the Young Scholars Network of NeFCA (Netherlands-Flanders Communication Association).
Sara worked as a researcher/PhD student for the IWT-SBO Friendly ATTAC project, under supervision of Prof. Dr. Heidi Vandebosch and Prof. Dr. Karolien Poels (University of Antwerp). The project aimed to create an evidence-based serious computer game in order to positively influence adolescents' behaviour when witnessing cyberbullying. The game was supported by scientific expertise on cyberbulying, behaviour change and game experience, and its effectiveness was tested.
Within the scope of this project and her own PhD research, Sara conducted research on adolescents' third-party confrontation with and responses to cyberbullying. In particular, she looked at the effect of the audience and social norms on positive and negative bystander behaviour in cyberbullying, and she investigates how adolescents provide online social support to victims of cyberbullying.
From February 2016, Sara will be working on a "Mediawijs" project on parents and cyberbullying. In this project, online prototype stories will be developed for parents to help them deal with cyberbullying among children.