Cyberbullying Research

Dr. Justin W. Patchin, and Dr. Sameer Hinduja and other researchers for from the have been exploring and researching cyberbullying since 2002. To date, they have conducted seven studies which included over 12,000 adolescents from over 80 schools. Their research is summarized . Other research has been going on in recent years.

The studies available today indicate that:
  • The average figures from available studies indicate that about 20% of teens have been the victim of cyberbullying at some point in their lifetime. According to a 2008 study 72% of school-aged children have been bullied while online (Juvonen & Gross, 2008)

  • The percent of youth who admit to cyberbullying others at some point in their lives range from about 11% to as high as 20%.

  • Reasons for cyberbullying include:
    • To get back at someone (56% of those who cyberbullied)
    • Because they deserve it (58% of cyberbullies)
    • For fun or entertainment (26% of cyberbullies)
    • To be mean (according to 75% of those who were cyberbullied)
    • Out of jealousy (32% of those who were cyberbullied) (Cox Communications, 2009)

    A recent study led by a a Michigan State University criminologist found that peer influence and low self-control appear to be the major factors fueling juvenile cybercrime such as computer hacking and online bullying. (Holt et al. 2010)

  • Adolescent girls are just as likely, if not more likely than boys to experience cyberbullying (as a victim and offender)

  • Cyberbullying is related to low self-esteem, suicidal ideation, anger, and frustration. Like other forms of bullying, it can be detrimental to a child’s performance and sense of well-being at school. Chait (2008) states that Cyber victimization has been shown to cause poor grades, emotional spirals, poor self-esteem, repeated school absences, depression, and in some cases suicide. These outcomes are similar to real-life bullying outcomes. Teens who have been cyberbullied may seem anxious and have unexplainable mood swings after online use or stop using their equipment at home all together. They are less likely to talk about their online experiences or friends, and may avoid allowing others to view their computer usage. (Shariff, 2008; Trolley, et al., 2006; Willard, 2007).

  • There is a close relationship between traditional bullying and cyberbullying: those who are bullied at school are bullied online and those who bully at school bully online. In other words, acts of cyberbullying can actually start with traditional bullying instances at school and then move to the Internet or vice-versa (California School Boards Association, 2007)

  • The motives for bullying someone online have remained fairly the same as traditional bullying: power and a need to dominate or subdue others. However, the profile of the bully is changing. The anonymity of being online has empowered those who may not have typically shown aggression in an open forum (Shariff, 2008).

  • 58% of those who are online bullied do not tell an adult – parent or others (Juvonen & Gross, 2008).

  • Education and awareness are critical to the prevention of cyberbullying (Hinduja & Patchin, 2008; Kowalski, 2008; Shariff, 2008; Willard, 2007). Disciplinary actions against cyberbullies have not proven to be effective.


California School Boards Association Governance and Policy Services. (2007). Cyberbullying: Policy considerations for boards. Retrieved April 28, 2008 from

Chait, J. (2008). Cyberbullying statistics. Retrieved May 1, 2008 from

Cox Communications (2009). Teen Online and Wireless Safety survey: Cyberbullying, sexting, and parental controls. Research findings. Retrieved July 5, 2010 from

Fegenbush, B.S. & Olivier, D. F (2009). Cyberbullying: A Literature Review, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Louisiana Education Research Association, Lafayette, March 5-6, 2009

Goodstein, A. (2007). Totally wired: What teens and tweens are really doing online. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin

Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J. W. (2007). Offline consequences of online victimization: School violence and delinquency. Journal of School Violence, 6(3), 89-112.

Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J. W. (2008). Cyberbullying: An exploratory analysis of factors related to offending and victimization. Deviant Behavior, 29(2), 129-156.

Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J. W. (2009). Bullying beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J. W. (forthcoming). Bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide. Forthcoming in Archives of Suicide Research.

Holt, T.J., Bossler, A.M., May, D.C., (2010). Low Self-Control, Deviant Peer Associations, and Juvenile Cyberdeviance. Published online 18 June 2011.

Juvonen, J., & Gross, E. (2008). Extending the school grounds? Bullying experiences in cyberspace. The Journal of School Health, 78(9), p. 496-505. Retrieved October 16, 2008 from Sage Publications database.

Kowalski, R. M., Limber, S. P. & Agatston, P.W. (2008). Cyber Bullying: Bullying in the Digital Age. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Lenhart, A. (2007). Cyberbullying and Online Teens. Pew Internet & American Life Project, June 27. ().

Patchin, J. W. & Hinduja, S. (2006). Bullies move beyond the schoolyard: A preliminary look at cyberbullying. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 4(2), 123-147.

Shariff, S. (2008). Cyberbullying: Issues and solutions for the school, the classroom and the home. New York: Routledge.

Smith, P. K., Mahdavi, J., Carvalho, M., Fisher, S., Russell, S., and Tippett, N. (2008). Cyberbullying: its nature and impact in secondary school pupils. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 49(4): 376–385.

Trolley, B, Hanel, C., and Shields, L. (2006). Demystifying & deescalating cyber bullying in the schools: A resource guide for counselors, educators and parents., Inc.

Willard, N. (2007). Cyberbullying and cyberthreats: Responding to the challenge of online social aggression, threats, and distress. Research Press. Retrieved May 1, 2008 from

Ybarra, M., Diener-West, M., & Leaf, P. J. (2007). Examining the Overlap in Internet Harassment and School Bullying: Implications for School Intervention. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41: S42–S50.

Ybarra, M. L., Espelage, D. L., & Mitchell, K. J. (2007). The Co-occurrence of Internet Harassment and Unwanted Sexual Solicitation Victimization and Perpetration: Associations with Psychosocial Indicators, Journal of Adolescent Health, 41, S31-S41.

Tags: Cyberbullying, research

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Real Life Story

Ryan Halligan was only 13…
When he took his life, because was he ridiculed and humiliated by peers at school and on-line.

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