Adolescent Cyberbullying: A Worldwide Concern

Adolescent Cyberbullying: A Worldwide Concern

Jun Sung Hong, Raúl Navarro, Michelle F. Wright
Copyright: © 2025 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-7366-5.ch017
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Adolescent cyberbullying continues to be a global public health concern, which has garnered the attention of scholars around the world. Cyberbullying is concerning for adolescents as adolescents have increasingly relied on social media, which increases their risk of cyberbullying victimization. This article aims to review the existing research literature on cyberbullying. The article focuses specifically on the definition and conceptualization of cyberbullying, the prevalence of cyberbullying around the world (Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America, Central/Latin America, and Africa), and how cyberbullying has been addressed in Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America, Central/Latin America, and Africa. The article then discusses solutions and recommendations for practice and policy and future research directions.
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Definition and Conceptualization of Cyberbullying

Numerous definitions of cyberbullying have been proposed in the research literature, and there appear to be challenges as well as debates within the scientific community about how cyberbullying should be conceptualized (Menesini et al., 2012). The challenge of defining cyberbullying is attributed to a lack of clarity on how cyberbullying should be conceptualized (Tokunaga, 2010; Vandebosch & Van Cleemput, 2008) as well as the rapid evolution of new technologies (Nocentini et al., 2010). Despite these challenges, researchers have realized the importance of including the definitions of cyberbullying in their surveys (Tokunaga, 2010). They, however, have debated whether the three criteria proposed by Olweus (1993) for defining face-to-face (or traditional) bullying, including intentionality, repetition, and imbalance of power, would apply to cyberbullying (Menesini et al., 2012).

Despite the debates regarding how cyberbullying should be defined among researchers, the definitions used in research share one common feature: Cyberbullying is a type of bullying, which occurs in the digital realm or medium of electronic text (Notar et al., 2013; Wong-Lo & Bullock, 2011). Moreover, research on cyberbullying highlights that there are a variety of terminologies for the phenomenon, depending on which acts are considered in the definition, including internet harassment, online harassment, and online bullying (Menesini et al., 2012). The five common criteria for the definition of cyberbullying, such as intentionality, repetition, imbalance of power, anonymity, and public vs. private, are included in the definition of cyberbullying used in research conducted in several countries (Menesini et al., 2012). In addition, according to Vandebosch and Van Cleemput (2008), definitions of cyberbullying also include behaviors that are not covered by face-to-face bullying. Such behaviors include having personal communications copied and sent to others, forwarding large amounts of icons and emoticons to others, changing the photos, and sending them for others to view.

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