Advertisement

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
Chapter

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Bullying Cyberbullying Aggression Adolescents Perpetration Victimization 

References

  1. Anthony, B. J., Wessler, S. L., & Sebian, J. K. (2010). Commentary: Guiding a public health approach to bullying. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35, 1113–1115. doi:10.1093/jpepsy/jsq083.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Arseneault, L., Walsh, E., Trzesniewski, K., Newcombe, R., Caspi, A., & Moffitt, T. E. (2006). Bullying victimization uniquely contributes to adjustment problems in young children: A nationally representative cohort study. Pediatrics, 118, 130–138. doi:10.1542/peds.2005-2388.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Arseneault, L., Bowes, L., & Shakoor, S. (2010). Bullying victimization in youths and mental health problems: Much ado about nothing? Psychological Medicine, 40, 717–729. doi:10.1017/S0033291709991383.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Bartlett, C. (2014). A meta-analysis of sex differences in cyber-bullying behavior: The moderating role of age. Aggressive Behavior, 40, 474–488. doi:10.1002/ab.21555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beck, J. S., Beck, A. T., Jolly, J. B., & Steer, R. A. (2005). Beck youth inventories for children and adolescents (2nd edn.). San Antonio: Harcourt Assessment.Google Scholar
  6. Brown, C. F., Demaray, M., & Secord, S. M. (2014). Cyber victimization in middle school and relations to social emotional outcomes. Computers in Human Behavior, 35, 12–21. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2014.02.014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cook, C. R., Williams, K. R., Guerra, N. G., Kim, T. E., & Sadek, S. (2010). Predictors of bullying and victimization in childhood and adolescence: A meta-analytic investigation. School Psychology Quarterly, 25(2), 65–83. doi:10.1037/a0020149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dempsey, A. G., Sulkowski, M. L., Nichols, R., & Storch, E. A. (2009). Differences between peer victimization in cyber and physical settings and associated psychosocial adjustment in early adolescence. Psychology in the Schools, 46(10), 962–972. doi:10.1002/pits.20437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Didden, R., Scholte, R. H. J., Korzilius, H., de Moor, J. M. H., Vermeulen, A., O’Reilly, M., Lang, R., & Lancioni, G. E. (2009). Cyberbullying among students with intellectual and developmental disability in special education settings. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 12, 146–151. doi:10.1080/17518420902971356.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Dredge, R., Gleeson, J., & de la Piedad Garcia, X. (2014). Risk factors associated with impact severity of cyberbullying victimization: A qualitative study of adolescent online social networking. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 17(5), 287–291. doi:10.1089/cyber.2013.0541.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Egan, S. K., & Perry, D. G. (1998). Does low self-regard invite victimization? Developmental Psychology, 34, 299–309. doi:10.1037//0012-1649.34.2.299.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Fekkes, M., Pijpers, F. I. M., & Verloove-VanHorick, S. P. (2004). Bullying behavior and associations with psychosomatic complaints and depression in victims. Journal of Pediatrics, 144, 17–22. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2003.09.025.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Fredstrom, B. K., Adams, R. E., & Gilman, R. (2011). Electronic and school-based victimization: Unique contexts for adjustment difficulties during adolescence. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 40(4), 405–415. doi:10.1007/s10964-010-9569-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Garnefski, N., & Kraaij, V. (2014). Bully victimization and emotional problems in adolescents: Moderation by specific cognitive coping strategies? Journal of Adolescence, 37(7), 1153–1160. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2014.07.005.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Gini, G., & Pozzoli, T. (2009). Association between bullying and psychosomatic problems: A meta-analysis. Pediatrics, 123(3), 1059–1065. doi:10.1542/peds.2008-1215.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Gradinger, P., Strohmeier, D., & Spiel, C. (2009). Traditional bullying and cyberbullying: Identification of risk groups for adjustment problems. Zeitschrift Für Psychologie/Journal of Psychology, 217(4), 205–213. doi:10.1027/0044-3409.217.4.205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hawker, D. S. J., & Boulton, M. J. (2000). Twenty years’ research on peer victimization and psychosocial maladjustment: A meta-analytic review of cross-sectional studies. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41, 441–455.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2009). Bullying beyond the schoolyard: Preventing and responding to cyberbullying. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.Google Scholar
  19. Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2010). Bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide. Archives of Suicide Research, 14(3), 206–221. doi:10.1080/13811118.2010.494133.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2014). State cyberbullying laws: A brief review of state cyberbullying laws and policies. http://www.cyberbullying.us/Bullying_and_Cyberbullying_Laws.pdf.
  21. Juvonen, J., & Gross, E. F. (2008). Extending the school grounds? Bullying experiences in cyberspace. Journal of School Health, 78, 496–505. doi:10.1111/j.1746-1561.2008.00335.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Kowalski, R. M., & Limber, S. P. (2007). Electronic bullying among middle school students. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(6 Suppl), S22–S30. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.08.017.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Kowalski, R. M., & Limber, S. P. (2013). Psychological, physical, and academic correlates of cyberbullying and traditional bullying. Journal of Adolescent Health, 53, S13–S20. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.09.018.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Kowalski, R. M., Limber, S. E., & Agatston, P. W. (2012a). Cyberbullying: Bullying in the digital age (2nd edn.). Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  25. Kowalski, R. M., Morgan, C. A., & Limber, S. E. (2012b). Traditional bullying as a potential warning sign of cyberbullying. School Psychology International, 33, 505–519. doi:10.1177/0143034312445244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kowalski, R. M., Giumetti, G. W., Schroeder, A. N., & Lattanner, M. R. (2014). Bullying in the digital age: A critical review and meta-analysis of cyberbullying research among youth. Psychological Bulletin, 140(4), 1073–1137. doi:10.1037/a0035618.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Landstedt, E., & Persson, S. (2014). Bullying, cyberbullying, and mental health in young people. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 42(4), 393–399. doi:10.1177/1403494814525004.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal and coping. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  29. Leary, M. R. (1983). Social anxiousness: The construct and its measurement. Journal of Personality Assessment, 47, 66–75. doi:10.1207/s15327752jpa4701_8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Lenhart, A. (6 May 2010). Cyberbullying: What the research is telling us. http://www.pewinternet.org/Presentations/2010/May/Cyberbullying-2010.aspx.
  31. Livingstone, S., & Smith, P. K. (2014). Annual research review: Harms experienced by child users of online and mobile technologies: The nature, prevalence and management of sexual and aggressive risks in the digital age. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 55, 635–654. doi:10.1111/jcpp.12197.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Machmutow, K., Perren, S., Sticca, F., & Alsaker, F. D. (2012). Peer victimisation and depressive symptoms: Can specific coping strategies buffer the negative impact of cybervictimisation? Emotional & Behavioural Difficulties, 17, 403–420. doi:10.1080/13632752.2012.704310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mehari, K. R., Farrell, A. D., & Le, A. H. (2014). Cyberbullying among adolescents: Measures in search of a construct. Psychology of Violence, 4(4), 399–415. doi:10.1037/a0037521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Menesini, E., Calussi, P., & Nocentini, A. (2012). Cyberbullying and traditional bullying: Unique, additive, and synergistic effects on psychological health symptoms. In Q. Li, D. Cross, & P. K. Smith (Eds.), Cyberbullying in the global playground: Research on international perspectives (pp. 245–262). Malden: Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Messias, E., Kindrick, K., & Castro, J. (2014). School bullying, cyberbullying, or both: Correlates of teen suicidality in the 2011 CDC youth risk behavior survey. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 55(5), 1063–1068. doi:10.1016/j.comppsych.2014.02.005.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  36. Modecki, K. L., Minchin, J., Harbaugh, A. G., Guerra, N. G., & Runions, K. C. (2014). Bullying prevalence across contexts: A meta-analysis measuring cyber and traditional bullying. Journal of Adolescent Health. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.06.007.Google Scholar
  37. Nansel, T., Overpeck, M., Pilla, R., Ruan, W., Simons-Morton, B., & Scheidt, P. (2001). Bullying behaviors among US youth: Prevalence and association with psychosocial adjustment. Journal of the American Medical Association, 285, 2094–2100. doi:10.1001/jama.285.16.2094.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  38. Nixon, C. (2014). Current perspectives: The impact of cyberbullying on adolescent health. Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics, 5, 143–158. doi:10.2147/AHMT.S36456.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  39. Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at school: What we know and what we can do. New York: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  40. Olweus, D. (1996/2004). The revised Olweus bully/victim questionnaire. Bergen: Research Centre for Health Promotion (HEMIL).Google Scholar
  41. Olweus, D. (2012). Cyberbullying: An overrated phenomenon? European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 9, 520–538. doi:10.1080/17405629.2012.682358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Olweus, D. (2013). School bullying: Development and some important challenges. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 9, 1–14. doi:10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-050212-185516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Olweus, D., & Limber, S. P. (November 2010). What do we know about bullying: Information from the Olweus bullying questionnaire. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Bullying Prevention Association, Seattle, WA.Google Scholar
  44. Perren, S., & Gutzwiller-Helfenfinger, E. (2012). Cyberbullying and traditional bullying in adolescence: Differential roles of moral disengagement, moral emotions, and moral values. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 9, 195–209. doi:10.1080/17405629.2011.643168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Perren, S., Dooley, J., Shaw, T., & Cross, D. (2010). Bullying in school and cyberspace: Associations with depressive symptoms in Swiss and Australian adolescents. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 4, 28. doi:10.1186/1753-2000-4-28.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  46. Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(5), 879–903. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.88.5.879.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Pyżalski, J. (2012). From cyberbullying to electronic aggression: Typology of the phenomenon. Emotional & Behavioural Difficulties, 17(3–4), 305–317. doi:10.1080/13632752.2012.704319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Riebel, J., Jäger, R. S., & Fischer, U. C. (2009). Cyberbullying in Germany—An exploration of prevalence, overlapping with real life bullying and coping strategies. Psychology Science Quarterly, 51(3), 298–314.Google Scholar
  49. Rigby, K. (1997). Bullying in schools: And what to do about it. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Google Scholar
  50. Rigby, K., & Slee, P. T. (1993). Dimensions of interpersonal relations among Australian school children and their implications for psychological well-being. Journal of Social Psychology, 133, 33–42. doi:10.1080/00224545.1993.9712116.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Robers, S., Kemp, J., Rathbun, A., & Morgan, R. E. (2014). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2013 (NCES 2014-042/NCJ 243299). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  52. Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Sakellariou, T., Carroll, A., & Houghton, S. (2012). Rates of cyber victimization and bullying among male Australian primary and high school students. School Psychology International, 33, 533–549. doi:10.1177/0143034311430374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Slonje, R., & Smith, P. K. (2008). Cyberbullying: Another main type of bullying? Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 49, 147–154. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9450.2007.00611.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Smith, P. K., Mahdavi, J., Carvalho, M., Fisher, S., Russell, S., & Tippett, N. (2008). Cyberbullying: Its nature and impact in secondary school pupils. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49(4), 376–385. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01846.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. van Geel, M., Vedder, P., & Tanilon, J. (2014a). Bullying and weapon carrying: A meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatrics, 168(8), 714–720. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.213.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. van Geel, M., Vedder, P., & Tanilon, J. (2014b). Relationship between peer victimization, cyberbullying, and suicide in children and adolescents: A meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatrics, 168(5), 435–442. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4143.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. Vazsonyi, A. T., Machackova, H., Sevcikova, A., Smahel, D., & Cerna, A. (2012). Cyberbullying in context: Direct and indirect effects by low self-control across 25 European countries. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 9(2), 210–227. doi:10.1080/17405629.2011.644919.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wang, W., Vaillancourt, T., Brittain, H. L., McDougall, P., Krygsman, A., Smith, D., Cunningham, C. E., Haltigan, J. D., & Hymel, S. (2014). School climate, peer victimization, and academic achievement: Results from a multi-informant study. School Psychology Quarterly, 29(3), 360–377. doi:10.1037/spq0000084.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Wigderson, S., & Lynch, M. (2013). Cyber- and traditional peer victimization: Unique relationships with adolescent well-being. Psychology of Violence, 3(4), 297–309. doi:10.1037/a0033657.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Willard, N. E. (2007). Cyberbullying and cyberthreats: Responding to the challenge of online social aggression, threats, and distress. Champaign: Research Press.Google Scholar
  62. Williams, K. R., & Guerra, N. G. (2007). Prevalence and predictors of internet bullying. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41, 14–21. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.08.018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Ybarra, M. L., & Mitchell, K. J. (2004). Youth engaging in online harassment: Associations with caregiver—child relationships, internet use, and personal characteristics. Journal of Adolescence, 27, 319–336. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2004.03.007.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations