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Teen Cyberbullying Content Assessed in the Context of Social Networks

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2020
7 pages

This article examines the findings of National Institute of Justice-funded research that conducted a multimethod study of cyberbullying.


With the vast majority of teens in the United States now using electronic communications, cyberbullying has become a frequent form of aggression on social media and through text messages, emails, and photo and video sharing. National Institute of Justice-funded researchers recently completed a multimethod study of cyberbullying that has combined analysis of actual message content with measures of frequency, peer group context, and the correlation between face-to-face and electronic bullying. This article examines the findings of the research team. The insights include: an understanding that assessing exposure to cyberbullying may require multiple measures; identification of the kind of message content that constitutes prohibited bullying; a strong association between face-to-face bullying and online bullying; messages with negative, bullying content tended to be clustered among key individuals; progress toward development of a new instrument with potential for use by administrators to cull thousands of messages and code aggressive content; and students who are bullied tend to be well integrated in, but not central to, school peer networks.