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Psychol Bull. 2014 Jul;140(4):1073-137. doi: 10.1037/a0035618. Epub 2014 Feb 10.

Bullying in the digital age: a critical review and meta-analysis of cyberbullying research among youth.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Clemson University.
2
Department of Psychology, Quinnipiac University.
3
Department of Psychology, Western Kentucky University.
4
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University.

Erratum in

  • Psychol Bull. 2014 Jul;140(4):1137.

Abstract

Although the Internet has transformed the way our world operates, it has also served as a venue for cyberbullying, a serious form of misbehavior among youth. With many of today's youth experiencing acts of cyberbullying, a growing body of literature has begun to document the prevalence, predictors, and outcomes of this behavior, but the literature is highly fragmented and lacks theoretical focus. Therefore, our purpose in the present article is to provide a critical review of the existing cyberbullying research. The general aggression model is proposed as a useful theoretical framework from which to understand this phenomenon. Additionally, results from a meta-analytic review are presented to highlight the size of the relationships between cyberbullying and traditional bullying, as well as relationships between cyberbullying and other meaningful behavioral and psychological variables. Mixed effects meta-analysis results indicate that among the strongest associations with cyberbullying perpetration were normative beliefs about aggression and moral disengagement, and the strongest associations with cyberbullying victimization were stress and suicidal ideation. Several methodological and sample characteristics served as moderators of these relationships. Limitations of the meta-analysis include issues dealing with causality or directionality of these associations as well as generalizability for those meta-analytic estimates that are based on smaller sets of studies (k < 5). Finally, the present results uncover important areas for future research. We provide a relevant agenda, including the need for understanding the incremental impact of cyberbullying (over and above traditional bullying) on key behavioral and psychological outcomes.

PMID:
24512111
DOI:
10.1037/a0035618
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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