Bulletin Reports

Understanding Cyberbullying

Research conducted into cyberbullying and the new challenges it presents law enforcement, parents, and school officials in protecting children helped to better describe the problem and develop an evidence-driven definition. To do so, researchers applied concept-mapping methodology, frequently used toward developing conceptual frameworks to describe complex topics. The research consisted of 177 participants who contributed to the concept-mapping process. There were five stakeholder groups—adolescents; parents; and professionals representing education, health, and the justice system—involved. Of the participants, 69 percent were females, 50 percent adults, and 68 percent Caucasians.

The findings indicated that cyberbullying seems best understood in the broader context of bullying. Stakeholders expressed strong perceptions regarding the uniqueness of cyberbullying. Bullying presents a complex set of behaviors within roles that may be fluid and lead to negative consequences for both perpetrators and targets.

This report, “Understanding Cyberbullying: Developing and Evidence-Based Definition,” and results of the study can be found at www.ncjrs.gov, NCJ 250299.