Cyberbullying among adolescents: Implications for empirical research

  • Patchin J
  • Hinduja S
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Comments on an article by M. Gámez-Guadix et al. (see record 2013-18883-001). Gámez-Guadix et al. further advance our understanding of the correlates of cyberbullying by examining its connection to psychological and behavioral problems using longitudinal data rarity in adolescent research generally and bullying research specifically. Results from this analysis comport with findings from existing cross-sectional research: namely, that youth who experience cyberbullying are also going through a host of other personal challenges. While Gámez-Guadix et al. give us more confidence about the nature of those relationships, many questions remain unanswered. Their use of structural equation modeling to examine relationships using longitudinal data better ensures that the hypothesized temporal ordering exists in practice, but it is possible that the associations observed were simply spurious. Public attention to the problem of cyberbullying is at an all time high. As such, good research is necessary to more precisely elucidate the nature and extent of this behavior, along with its associated causes and consequences. The science of cyberbullying must continue to advance by improving methodological standards, including the use of validated measures, representative samples, and, where possible, longitudinal data. Supplementing quantitative findings with those from detailed qualitative inquiries will also help to better understand the precise nature of some of these relationships. With these considerations in mind, scholarship will be better able to inform the public conversation about cyberbullying in a way that equips educators, parents, policy makers, and others with the information they need to make a positive difference in the lives of adolescents, online and offline. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)

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  • Justin W. Patchin

  • Sameer Hinduja

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