By Justin W. Patchin and Sameer Hinduja
Bullying in a school setting is an important social concern that has received increased scholarly attention in recent years. Specifically, its causes and effects have been under investigation by a number of researchers in the social and behavioral sciences. A new permutation of bullying, however, has recently arisen and become common: tech-savvy students are turning to cyberspace to harass their peers. Whereas youth who are bullied at school can extricate themselves from unpleasant situations when they go home for the day, a child is potentially vulnerable to mistreatement through electronic means around the clock. Furthermore, the negative psychological, emotional, and social consequences can leave scars that persist for years, if not for a lifetime. This exploratory paper will discuss the nature of bullying and its transmutation to the electronic world, as well as the negative repercussions that can befall both its victims and instigators. Additionally, findings are reported from a pilot study designed to empirically assess the nature and extent of online bullying. The overall goal of the current work is to illuminate this novel form of deviance stemming from the intersection of communications and computers, and to provide a foundational backdrop upon which future empirical research can be conducted.
Patchin, J. W. and Hinduja, S. (2006). Bullies move beyond the schoolyard: A preliminary look at cyberbullying. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 4(2), 148-169