cyberbullying research center   "I had this boy who used to like me. But I never liked him. So one day I asked my friend to help get him off my back. We invited him into this chat room and started talking about him. And at first he was defensive, then angry, then sad. He soon logged off. A few months later I learned about the pain of cyber bullying...and he admitted that he was so depressed about that day that he thought on suicide." (16 year-old girl from IL)
...identifying the causes and consequences of cyberbullying
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Research Findings on Cyberbullying - Downloadable Charts, Statistics, Data, Studies
Research
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The primary mission of the Cyberbullying Research Center is to provide up-to-date information about the nature and extent of online aggression among adolescents. Drs. Hinduja and Patchin frequently communicate with youth and adults on the front lines and formally survey students on a regular basis. Results from their most recent research is summarized below. If you have any comments or questions about these studies, feel free to contact them.

Click on the thumbnail images on the left to enlarge the chart.

   
SUMMARY OF OUR CYBERBULLYING RESEARCH FROM 2004-2010

The following two charts details the proportion of youth who have experienced cyberbullying since we began formally studying this problem in 2002. These studies have used different methodologies and populations, and so please see our Research in Review addendum for more details.

   
Online Bullying Research Studies - Victims
As illustrated in the chart to the left, the rates of cyberbullying victimization have varied over the years we have studied the phenomenon. Measures of its prevalence seem to depend on the population from which the sample is taken, and the way in which data are collected. Please see our Research in Review addendum to better understand the methods and context associated with each of these studies.
   
Online Bullying Research Studies - Aggressors
The rates of cyberbullying offending have also varied among the research studies we have conducted. Measures of its prevalence seem to depend on the population from which the sample is taken, and the way in which data are collected. Please see our Research in Review addendum to better understand the methods and context associated with each of these studies.

 

2010 - FEBRUARY

This study surveyed a random sample of 4441 youth between the ages of 10 and 18 from a large school district in the southern United States. Data were collected in February of 2010 from 37 different schools.

   
Teens Use of Technology - 2010 - Cyberbullying Research Center
Cell phones continue to be the most popular technology utilized by adolescents with almost 83% of youth in our sample report having used one at least weekly. A greater proportion of adolescents are now using Facebook compared to MySpace, and twitter remains unpopular among most youth.
   
Cyberbullying Victimization - 2010 - Cyberbullying Research Center
We define cyberbullying as: "Cyberbullying is when someone repeatedly harasses, mistreats, or makes fun of another person online or while using cell phones or other electronic devices." Approximately 20% of the students in our sample report experiencing cyberbullying in their lifetimes. When asked about specific types of cyberbullying in the previous 30 days, mean or hurtful comments (13.7%) and rumors spread (12.9%) online continue to be among the most commonly-cited. Seventeen percent of the sample reported being cyberbullied in one or more of the nine types reported, two or more times over the course of the previous 30 days.
   
Cyberbullying Offending - 2010 - Cyberbullying Research Center
We define cyberbullying as: "Cyberbullying is when someone repeatedly harasses, mistreats, or makes fun of another person online or while using cell phones or other electronic devices." Approximately 20% of the students in our sample admitted to cyberbullying others in their lifetimes. Posting mean or hurtful comments and spreading rumors online were the most commonly reported types of cyberbullying they reported during the previous 30 days. About 11% of the sample reported cyberbullying using one or more of the nine types reported, two or more times over the course of the previous 30 days.
   
Cyberbullying by Gender - 2010 - Cyberbullying Research Center
Adolescent girls are significantly more likely to have experienced cyberbullying in their lifetimes (25.8% vs. 16%). This difference disappears when reviewing experiences over the previous 30 days. Girls are also more likely to report cyberbullying others during their lifetime (21.1% vs. 18.3%). The type of cyberbullying tends to differ by gender; girls are more likely to spread rumors while boys are more likely to post hurtful pictures or videos.

 

2009 - JUNE
This study surveyed a random sample of approximately 900 youth between the ages of 11 and 18 from a moderately-sized school district in the southern United States. Data were collected in June of 2009 from 8 different schools.
   
Teens Use of Technology - 2009 - Cyberbullying Research Center
Cell phones are the most popular technology utilized by adolescents with over 84% of youth in our sample report having used one at least weekly. Sending text messages (79.8%) and taking pictures with cell phones (73.9%) are also very popular. It is important to note that almost 74% of the students used the Internet for schoolwork on a weekly basis.
   
Cyberbullying Victimization - 2009 - Cyberbullying Research Center
We define cyberbullying as: "Cyberbullying is when someone repeatedly harasses, mistreats, or makes fun of another person online or while using cell phones or other electronic devices." Approximately 24% of the students in our sample report experiencing cyberbullying in their lifetimes. When asked about specific types of cyberbullying in the previous 30 days, mean or hurtful comments (12.7%) and rumors spread (13.4%) online are among the most commonly-cited. Almost 19% of the sample reported being cyberbullied in one or more of the seven types reported, two or more times over the course of the previous 30 days.
   
Cyberbullying Offending - 2009 - Cyberbullying Research Center
We define cyberbullying as: "Cyberbullying is when someone repeatedly harasses, mistreats, or makes fun of another person online or while using cell phones or other electronic devices." Approximately 19% of the students in our sample admitted to cyberbullying others in their lifetimes. Posting mean or hurtful comments and spreading rumors online were the most commonly reported types of cyberbullying they reported during the previous 30 days. Nine percent of the sample reported cyberbullying using one or more of the nine types reported, two or more times over the course of the previous 30 days.

 

2007 - JUNE
This study surveyed a random sample of approximately 2000 youth between the ages of 11 and 16 from a large school district in the southern United States. Data were collected in June of 2007 from 30 different middle schools.
   
Cyberbullying Victimization - 2007 - Cyberbullying Research Center
Even though less than 10% of middle-school students reported being cyberbullied in the previous 30 days, approximately 43% reported experiencing one of several experiences that could be defined as cyberbullying. Among the most commonly experienced included: receiving an email that made them upset (18.1%, not including spam), receiving an instant message that made them upset (15.8%), and having something posted on their MySpace that made them upset (14.1%).
   
Cyberbullying Offending - 2007 - Cyberbullying Research Center
When asked about specific cyberbullying behaviors, many middle-school students admit to engaging in a variety of inappropriate online behaviors. One-third of the sample admitted to engaging in at least one of the listed activities in the previous 30 days. Posting something online about another person to make others laugh was the most common response with close to 23% of students admitting to such behavior.
   
Cyberbullying Victimization and Gender - 2007 - Cyberbullying Research Center
Middle school girls are more likely to have experienced cyberbullying in their lifetimes than boys, though this difference disappears when looking at the last 30 days.
   
Cyberbullying Offending and Gender - 2007 - Cyberbullying Research Center
All of the research we have conducted over the years has found that girls are as likely, if not more likely, to be involved in cyberbullying. When looking at recent experiences, boys and girls report about the same involvement in cyberbullying offending. Lifetime participation rates are higher for girls, however, suggesting that they have been engaging in these types of activities longer. We also note some differences in the types of behaviors girls and boys engage in.
   
Cyberbullying and Race - 2007 - Cyberbullying Research Center
Our research suggests that all races are vulnerable to cyberbullying victimization and offending. While it appears that White students are more likely to report lifetime experiences with cyberbullying (both as a victim and an offender), when looking at the previous 30 days, all races are pretty evenly represented as victims or offenders.
   
Cyberbullying and School Climate - 2007 - Cyberbullying Research Center
We are also starting to explore the relationship between school climate and cyberbullying. As you can see, cyberbullies perceive their school climate to be the lowest, and cyberbullying victims view their school climate lower than nonvictims or bullies. The question remains: do cyberbullying behaviors create a poor school climate or does a poor school climate foster a culture where cyberbullying behaviors are acceptable?
   
Cyberbullying and Self-Esteem - 2007 - Cyberbullying Research Center
There also seems to be a connection between self-esteem and cyberbullying victimization. Victims have significantly lower self-esteem than non victims. Again, does cyberbullying cause someone to have low self-esteem, or are students with low self-esteem targeted for cyberbullying?
   
Cyberbullying and Suicide - 2007 - Cyberbullying Research Center

We have also found that middle-school victims of cyberbullying score higher on a suicidal ideation scale. We have heard many tragic stories of adolescents who commit suicide after enduring bullying and/or cyberbullying. Clearly more research is necessary.

   
How Victims of Cyberbullying Felt - 2007 - Cyberbullying Research Center
Looking at the most recent victims of cyberbullying, both boys and girls are likely to report feeling angry, sad, and embarrassed. Slightly more girls than boys feel frustrated, while significantly more boys are scared as a result of cyberbullying.
   

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