Education and Information Technologies

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 719–728 | Cite as

Adolescents and Cyber Bullying: The Precaution Adoption Process Model

  • John ChapinEmail author


A survey of adolescents (N = 1,488) documented Facebook use and experience with cyber bullying. The study found that 84 % of adolescents (middle school through college undergraduates) use Facebook, and that most users log on daily. While 30 % of the sample reported being cyber bullied, only 12.5 % quit using the site, and only 18 % told a parent or school official about the abuse. Up to 75 % of middle school Facebook users have experienced cyber bullying. The current study was the first to apply the Precaution Adoption Process Model (PAPM) to cyber bullying or to test the model with children and adolescents. Results suggest that most adolescents are aware of cyber bullying and acknowledge it as a problem in their school. About half of the adolescents did not progress beyond Stage 2 of the PAPM (aware of the problem, but haven’t really thought about it). Adolescents also exhibited optimistic bias, believing they were less likely than peers to become cyber bullied. Implications for prevention education are discussed.


Adolescence Cyber bullying Precaution adoption process model Optimistic bias 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pennsylvania State UniversityMonacaUSA

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