Research on Cyberbullying: Strengths and Limitations

  • Peter K. SmithEmail author


Cyberbullying has built on a previous research tradition in school bullying, but with inputs from other disciplines. There has been a decade of a rapidly increasing number of research studies. This has been a global phenomenon, with an initial impetus from North America but by now an even greater volume from Europe. By continent, only South America and Africa have so far lagged behind in this global development. Cyberbullying has both similarities to and differences from traditional bullying. There is still continuing debate about issues of measurement and definition, which the changing technological scene only exacerbates. Many studies have reported prevalence rates, but these vary hugely, depending on methodologies employed. Considerable work has focussed on age and gender differences, and other predictors of involvement. Another common focus of studies has been on correlates of cyberbullying involvement and negative outcomes, often found to be as much or more than for traditional bullying. The great majority of empirical studies have been quantitative, and cross-sectional. There is a need for more longitudinal studies, and also more qualitative and mixed methods approaches.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyGoldsmiths CollegeLondonUK

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