Cyberaggression: Comparisons of cyberbullies and cybervictims throughout the world

Timothy Phoenix Oblad, Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The world over has seen an increase in technological expansion. Adolescents are active consumers in the spread of social networking sites and interfacing online. Though there are many benefits for Internet and communication technologies, there are also numerous concerns for a new issue: Cyberbullying. Defined as bullying through electronic communication (Li, 2008) or any hostile or aggressive message sent digitally and repeatedly to an individual (Tokunaga, 2010), cyberbullying is a new type of bullying receiving media attention as a new world epidemic by increasing frequency of online bullying, suicides, threats, and legal action. For instance, in 2009, several European studies reported that up to 52% of adolescents had recently been cyberbullied (Burt, 2011). A study in Asia reported that three-fourths of college students knew a cybervictim, and over half knew a cyberbully (Ismail & Kim, 2010). In the US, Webster (2010) reported that 1 in 5 adolescents had posted or sent sexually aggressive/nude images to others. Particularly in the case of a fast growing global phenomenon like cyberbullying, research is necessary to better understand the implications for individuals across contexts, and to develop a cohesive groundwork for researchers and policy makers to draw upon. In the current chapter, the authors review literature throughout the world over the last decade on cyberaggression and discuss the growing literature on cyberbullying by comparing and contrasting scholarship around the world. The study identifies a multitude of terminologies used by individual countries; for example, electronic bullying in the US may be understood in Germany as cyber-mobbing, in Italy as Virtual-bullying, or the Czech Republic as online harassment (Kowalski & Limber, 2007; Nocentini et al. 2010; Ševčíková, & Šmahel; 2009). Also, behavioral patterns of cyberbullies and victims regarding gender differences throughout the world and most common methods of technological aggression are discussed. Types of research methodologies are also identified using a cross-cultural comparative perspective. Significant gaps such as lack of common theoretical frameworks and use of lesser known theories and models across scholarship will be discussed; in addition, current policy and types of program interventions available principally from the US, UK, and Australia, to deal with this phenomenon are reviewed (see Mason, 2008; Marczak & Coyne, 2010; Tangen & Campbell, 2010). Recommendations for future research and intervention/prevention efforts will be provided.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom Cyber Bullying to Cyber Safety
Subtitle of host publicationIssues and Approaches in Educational Contexts
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9781626181793
StatePublished - 2013


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