Cyberbullying: Definition, Behaviors, Correlates, and Adjustment Problems

Cyberbullying: Definition, Behaviors, Correlates, and Adjustment Problems

Michelle F. Wright
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3479-3.ch026
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The purpose of this chapter is to examine cyberbullying among children and adolescents, referred to as “youths” throughout the chapter. An extension of traditional bullying, cyberbullying is a form of bullying which takes place by means of electronic technologies, such as email, instant messaging, Facebook, and text messaging through mobile devices. Drawing on research from a variety of disciplines, such as psychology, education, social work, sociology, and computer science, this chapter is organized into six sections. The chapters draws on studies with qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research methodologies.
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Cyberbullying involves the use of digital technologies to hostilely and intentionally harass, embarrass, and intimidate others (Smith et al., 2013). The hostility and intentionality portions of this definition are key to defining cyberbullying, as these behaviors must include a desire to maliciously harm the victim or victims. Similar to traditional forms of face-to-face bullying, cyberbullying can sometimes include repetition and an imbalance of power. Repetition of cyberbullying acts is complex as sharing humiliating videos or text messages can be sent to the victim only, one bystander, or multiple bystanders (Bauman et al., 2013b). The nature of repetition in the cyber context makes it easier for bullies to continue the cycle of cyberbullying behaviors. It is possible for cyberbullies to distribute a humiliating video or text message to one person, and then for this person to share the content additional times with other people. The people can then also share the video or text message.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Anonymity: The quality of being unknown or unacknowledged.

Cyberbullying: Children’s and adolescents’ usage of electronic technologies to hostilely and intentionally harass, embarrass, and intimidate others.

Provictim Attitudes: The belief that bullying is unacceptable and that defending victims is valuable.

Parental Mediation and Monitoring: The strategies that parents use to manage the relationship between their children and media.

Individualism: The belief that each person is more important than the needs of the whole group or society.

Peer Attachment: The internalization of the knowledge that their peers will be available and responsive.

Collectivism: A cultural value that stressed the importance of the group over individual goals and cohesion within social groups.

Traditional Face-To-Face Bullying: The use of strength or influence to intimidate or physically harm someone.

Externalizing Difficulties: Includes children’s and adolescents’ failure to control their behaviors.

Empathy: The ability to understand or feel what another person is experiencing or feeling.

Normative Belief: Beliefs about the acceptability and tolerability of a behavior.

Peer Contagion: The transmission or transfer of deviant behavior from one adolescent to another.

Anxiety: A mental health disorder which includes symptoms of worry, anxiety, and/or fear that are intense enough to disrupt one’s daily activities.

Parenting Style: The standard strategies that parents use in their child rearing.

Loneliness: An unpleasant emotional response to isolation or lack of companionship.

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