Cyberbullying Matters: Examining the Incremental Impact of Cyberbullying On Outcomes Over and Above Traditional Bullying in North America

  • Gary W. GiumettiEmail author
  • Robin M. Kowalski


Bullying among youth is a relatively widespread problem as estimates at the number of youth affected in the USA suggest that nearly 14.6 million youth may experience traditional bullying and 6.2 million may experience cyberbullying as either a victim or perpetrator. Traditional bullying and cyberbullying share many features in common, and research suggests that the two phenomena overlap to a great extent, with as many as 88 % of victims (or perpetrators) of traditional bullying also being cyberbullying victims (or perpetrators). This finding has caused some researchers to question whether cyberbullying is really a unique phenomenon that can negatively impact youth. The current study adds to our understanding of this overlap by examining the extent to which cyberbullying predicts unique variance in several individual health and behavioral outcomes over and above traditional bullying. The data are drawn from two large-scale samples of youth from the USA. Results of hierarchical regression analyses indicate that cyberbullying explained between 1 and 4 % unique variance in several outcomes (e.g., absenteeism, depression, grades in school) over and above traditional bullying. These results suggest that cyberbullying represents a unique form of bullying that has the potential to impact youth negatively. Future bullying researchers are encouraged to measure both forms of media through which bullying can occur (i.e., traditional and cyber) to obtain a fuller understanding of the bullying context and the subsequent impact on youth.


Bullying Cyberbullying Aggression Adolescents Perpetration Victimization 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyQuinnipiac UniversityHamdenUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyClemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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