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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

Cyberbullying may be one of the “diseases” of the 21th Century. Despite efforts to curtail its incidence and prevalence over the past 20 years, its direct and indirect harmful effects have made it a public concern about the wellbeing of children, adolescents, and adults. Empirical studies as well as psychological theories have addressed different aspects of cyberbullying (e.g. characteristics of victims, bullies, and bystanders, prevalence rates, specific types of cyberbullying behavior, gender differences, intervention/prevention strategies, legal/legislative measures, etc.). While consensus is evident in some areas researched, significant findings in other areas are inconsistent, indicative of the inherent complexities of this phenomenon and the methodological problems hampering insight into the nature of this problem and its possible solutions. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the current status of the research and theoretical perspectives on cyberbullying in hopes of encouraging good scholarship, improved methodologies and thoughtful inquiries to better inform educators, parents, mental health service providers, policy makers and others so that they can more effectively promote healthy online and offline behaviors among digital users. This discussion reviews the definition and characteristics of cyberbullying, its prevalence, populations affected, gender differences, theoretical perspectives and issues of intervention and prevention.

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