Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
With the growth of technology, bullying has expanded into the technological realm. Labeled cyberbullying, individuals are utilizing technology, such as cell phones and the Internet, to bully and harass others with the intention of causing harm. Most cyberbullying research has been conducted with elementary, middle, and high school-aged students in countries such as Finland, Canada, Taiwan, and Australia. The purpose of this study was to expand prevalence, psychological impact, and coping strategy research with college-student victims of cyberbullying in the United States. 799 college students from a mid-Atlantic university were surveyed via the Internet. It was found that 8.6% of that sample endorsed being a victim of cyberbullying; 8.7% of females and 8.4% of males. On the Symptom Checklist-90-R, the 69 victims were higher than 69 matched control participants in depression, anxiety, phobic anxiety, and paranoia, as well as were elevated on global severity index and positive symptom distress index scales. Victims endorsed frequently experiencing emotional consequences, such as feeling frustrated, stressed, sad/hurt, or angry. Victims had significantly more suicidal planning and attempts, as well as suicidal ideations. They also more frequently threatened suicide than control participants. In response to cyberbully victimization, female and male victims both told someone they were being victimized, avoided friends or peers, got revenge, and stopped going to events they once enjoyed. Female victims more frequently avoided Internet/cell phones and males more frequently drank alcohol/used illegal drugs as a result of their victimization. The results of this study indicated that cyberbullying is occurring in a college sample and having a negative impact upon victims.
Schenk, Allison M., "Psychological Impact of Cyberbully Victimization among College Students" (2011). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 3293.