9 Aug 2022


Literature Review on Cyberbullying

Format: APA

Academic level: College

Paper type: Book Report

Words: 1767

Pages: 6

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Cyberbullying is defined as an intentional, aggressive activity done via digital means (Baya & Ucanok, 2012). Cyber discrimination among adolescents is always associated with negative psycho-social variables including depressive mood and loneliness. Bullying is a common practice among school-going children, but cyberbullying on its part is an expanded form of bullying because it uses the internet to bully. Since it has become a growing problematic trend, many questions are arising as to why cyberbullying is so predominant and its effects. The sole purpose of carrying out this literature review is to provide an inclusive critical investigation of the current study on the topic of cyber bullying, plus the consequent implications of the issues associated with it. This is meant to come up with future researchable hypotheses on the topic of cyber bullying since it is related to school policy. 

Background Information 

Young people view the internet and cell phones as positive attributes in the current society. Smart phones and the Internet are the two technologies that are perceived and used in negative ways. The majority of the children have become targets of cyber bullying through the internet and smart phones, leading to some confusion on the real “target.” According to Bhat (2008) , many of these children do not even comprehend that the victimization they are undergoing is a direct form of bullying. This has made the one-thought safe environment of the Internet to become a great source of anxiety and confusion nowadays. The Internet houses many risks and dangers including the programming vaults and viruses, which pose a great dismay for the current generation of young people; the two well-known monsters are cyber bullying and pornography. What bothers technology lovers is that a system that enhances easier and fastest flow of communication and information has now turned into a dangerous place. This menace has escalated in the recent years to the point where now governments, through their ministries, have to set aside a certain proportion of money to cater for cyber bullying- something that is an extra expense on the side of the governmental resources. 

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In the wake of curbing this trend, the majority of the states and countries have started imposing laws that are meant to eradicate cyber bullying, specifically by imprisoning and fining the culprits of cyber bullying. Research by Bhat (2008) has documented that most often, cyber bullies work jointly in groups since they feel strong and they hold the fear that if they get away, they might be cyber-bullied themselves. Researchers such as Olenik-Shemesh, Heiman & Eden (2002) have affirmed that culprits of this crime are sometimes depressed more than their victims do. The worrying factor is that cyber-bullies enjoy a false feeling of satisfaction whenever they send flame and threatening emails to their victims. 

Cyber Bullying and Peer Pressure 

Both the starters of cyber bullying and the victims often associate it with peer influence. The outcomes of a research done by Ortega et al. (2012) postulate that adolescents who themselves are not engaged in bullying practice both in cyberspace and school perceived their tutors and school in a more positive way as compared to the bully victims and the cyber bullies. On the other hand, those youngsters not engaged in bullying- both in virtual and physical settings- appraised other students within their school setups in a more positive way as compared to cyber bullies. About peer perception, the findings by Vollink, Bolman, Dehue & Jacob (2013) reveal a somewhat different pattern of both traditional and cyber bullying. For instance, adolescents and bullies who are not involved in cyber bullying evaluate their peer counterparts in a more positive way as compared to bully-victims. Those not engaged in cyber bullies and cyber bullying perceive their peers in a more positive way as compared to bully victims. 

Impact of Cyber Bullying 

According to Baya & Ucanok (2012), cyber bullying only serves to show the ugly “face” of the Internet. Victims that have undergone cyber bullying are likely to become stressed and depressed, and in very extreme cases, could reach the extent of committing suicide. This makes us understand that the Internet is very dangerous and unware to most individuals, could potentially hurt them if they use it carelessly. In most instance, experts say that cyber bullying often commences with a feeling of confusion, feeling hurt for the reason that an individual or a group of people have targeted someone for no particular reason. Some of the school-age victims- who have suffered much in the hands of cyber bullies- have questioned the authorities and reported to their parents, and the answer is that sometimes those reported to carry out the bully do not even understand the reason. The victims start experiencing the feeling of loneliness and fear, accompanied by the fear of continuing with school or leaving their homes. This happens especially when they have the full feeling they have become targets by “other people” whom they do not understand. In case an adolescent is being bullied continually and for a long time, their grades would automatically drop and may start exhibiting symptoms of paranoia. The recurrence of such symptoms makes it very difficult for the adolescent to have a proper flow of communication with everyone around them, especially classmates and this also hinders the ability to make new friends. The report by Bhat (2008) states that the victimization of cyber bullying is the same as the effects applied on a school-age pupil who is undergoing the pressure of psychological trauma. 

The moment a youngster starts undergoing depression of cyber bullying, this affects not only them but also their parents and the entire family. The parents and the family start blaming the school authorities for allowing their pupil to be exposed to this trauma. In the course of seeking for answers, the relationship and trust between the parent and the school are hurt and broken, until their child is normally restored. Even after the school struggling to restore the pupil, there is the “fear of the unknown” left in the minds of the parents. The worst can happen to an adolescent whose parents are uneducated, or one with a single parent, or one with “busy-at-work” parents who are hardly at home to spend a sizeable amount of time with their children. While the adolescent could keep to themselves, they are the essentially heaping pressure that eventually explodes to cause more problems. One of these problems is a forceful abandonment of school and running away from home. That is the reason Bhat (2008) writes that it is “imperative for parents to always develop a habit of studying their kids as they grow up so they can be able to notice strange behavior that needs to be addressed.” 

The Victims & the Real Influence of Cyber Bullying 

It must be appreciated that any student in schools can easily become a victim of cyber bullying. For instance, Olenik-Shemesh, Heiman & Eden (2002) admit that all nations with progressive technology have been reporting same cases of cyber bullying. In one of the studies done by Bhat (2008), he concludes that over 36% of girls and over 32% of boys have once suffered cyber bullying. Some observers have asserted that girls normally do not retaliate the same way boys do; probably this is the reason why there are more girl victims as compared to boys. On their part, female students have a greater tendency to acknowledge that they have undergone cyber bullying in their school lifetime. Whereas the form of cyber bully tends to differ, female students are more probable to spread the reports of cyber bullying, but boys would prefer posting hateful videos and pictures of the same (Bhat, 2008). 

Normally, in traditional bullying, the audience involved is substantially small in size, but cyber bullying can potentially pose both emotional and psychological impact on consequent victims since its audience is wider. To illustrate this scenarion, in an instance where a cyber bully comes attacking an adolescent on a social networking site, anyone on the Internet would be able to view that hateful message. Embarrassing photos and vulgar text messages can be forwarded through smartphones and emails to different individuals across the globe. Some cyber bullies have gone to the extent of dedicating vile websites to the fellow victims; which could be accessed by other online Internet users. To worsen the problems, the victim in question might be unaware of the real personality of the individual who has created such nasty messages and websites. The moment a victim fails to recognize who is attacking and targeting them, they react by being helpless, dehumanized, isolated, and would prospectively influence them to either commit suicide or even harm other individuals around them. 

Prevention of Cyber Bullying 

Various possible literature have been written regarding ways through which this menace can be prevented, and in the scope of this paper, not all of them can be discussed. The first applicable one is that of raising awareness and sensitizing teens and parents about cyber bullying (Ortega et al, 2012). The capability to understand the online current trends and being updated with the current expertise is another instrumental factor that can be employed in curbing cyber bullying. Ignorance is no defense, and since the world of technology is moving, everyone has to make efforts to move with them. It can be very hard for a parent experienced in the matters of internet technology to fall prey to the cyber bullying targeted at their child. This happens because, the moment they realize such kind of bullying, they would immediately recognize the best avenue to undertake and even advise their kid accordingly. Thus, both parents and kids in schools and homes should not be naïve. 

It is a commonplace observation that as parents grow older, their former acquaintance of technical advances may start fading. It is, therefore, prudent for parents to always find the time and interact with their kids and encourage them to remain updated with things that are centrally significant to their education. Likewise to the outmoded school courtyard bullying when parents used to supervise play area, they can do the same by supervising their children on what best to do on the Internet. Parents should find it easy putting parental controls on their smartphones, PCs, and laptops barring their kids from accessing social networking websites such a Myspace, Twitter, and Facebook. Truth be told, what would an elementary pupil be doing on Facebook or Twitter, at such as an early age? Is that helpful, or harming them? 

Sometimes the leniency of some of the parents, especially from the continent of America, has propelled some of their children to start experimenting things and eventually training themselves to become cyber bullies at a younger age. Even though some children might get upset by such parental controls, their safety and tranquility are far much more important than being left to undergo cyber bullying. School policies should also place stringent measures when it comes to allowing students to use the Internet and especially during class times. Parents should team up with school authorities to create necessary workable and practicable policies to guarantee the safety of their children online. It must always be remembered that online etiquette can be instilled and trained at a younger age, just like proper manners and good behavior. The moment school-age children learn to be professional and respectful in their school setups, they can lengthen such merits in the cyber space (Vollink, Bolman, Dehue & Jacob, 2013). 


Baya, Y., & Ucanok, Z. (2012). School social climate and generalized peer perception in traditional and cyberbullying status. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice , 12(4), 2352- 2358. 

Bhat, C. (2008). Cyber Bullying: Overview and Strategies for School Counsellors, Guidance Officers, and All School Personnel.  Australian Journal of Guidance & Counselling , 18(1), 53-66. 

Olenik-Shemesh, V., Heiman, T., & Eden, S. (2002). Cyberbullying victimization in adolescence: Relationships with loneliness and depressive mood. Emotional & Behavioral Difficulties , 17(3-4), 361-374. Doi: 10.1.1080/13632752.2012..704227. 

Ortega, R., Elipa, P., Mora-Merchan, J.A., Genta, M.L., Brighi,A., Guarini, A., Smith, P.K., Thompson, F., & Tippett,N. (2012). The emotional impact of bullying and cyberbullying on victims: A European cross-national study. Aggressive Behavior , 38(5), 342-356. Doi: 10.1002/ab.21440 

Vollink, T., Bolman, C.A.A., Dehue, F. Jacob, N.C.L. (2013). Coping with cyberbullying: Differences between victims, bully-victims and children not involved in bullying. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology , 23(1), 7-24. doi: 10.1002/casp.2142 

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