Cyberbullying in Social Psychology


The widespread usage of the internet and social media has both bad and good consequences for individuals. One expression of such harmful impacts is cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is a type of abuse and humiliation carried out online. Because of the increased use of social media by teenagers and adolescents, cyberbullying has become a serious problem, with increasing instances and tragedies. The study aimed to determine the prevalence and effects of cyberbullying among teenagers and young adults, as well as explore the most suitable interdisciplinary prevention and coping strategies.

Research based on quantitive secondary data indicated that both girls and boys, as well as adults, participate in and are victims of cyberbullying. Furthermore, the study found that cyberbullying has an impact on youth’s psychological well-being, resulting in poor academic performance, emotional disturbance, and interpersonal gaps. Adolescents who were active in cyberbullying in various ways were more prone than their non-involved classmates to engage in physical fights and drug usage. Cyberbullying victims suffered anxiety, fear, depression, low academic success, school dropouts, and low self-esteem, leaving them feeling overwhelmed, defenseless, helpless, spiteful, exposed, humiliated, alienated, and disinterested in school and life.


Modern technology is always improving, and it has recently shown itself as a major societal concern. Unfortunately, this advancement in technology has opened up new avenues for bullying to occur. Computers and mobile phones, among other technology and communication devices, have created new avenues for what is now known as cyberbullying.

Bullying is a form of violence that puts a person’s safety in jeopardy. It’s a pattern of aggressive behavior that entails a power imbalance in the offender’s favor (Parmar et al., 2017). Because of the rapid advancement of information and communication technology, conventional bullying has evolved into cyberbullying. Children and teenagers’ interaction with contemporary gadgets has risen substantially, but there are few methods for limiting the amount of time spent in social networks and the quality of material received in these networks, both of which are antecedents for cyberbullying.

According to researchers cyberbullying involves as much information that is used among communication technologies that support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by individuals or groups that intend to harm others. In 2012, the National Crime Prevention Council started studies that would give feedback on cyberbullying. These studies found that about 15% of children were bullied online by text, and in high school students, 14.9% were bullied prior to the survey (Mc Guckin & Corcoran, 2017). Continuously, in this process, we will see what avenues are being taken into consideration of how cyberbullying will be curbed, and we will look at why cyberbullying is so prevalent in young people.

It is critical to raise awareness about cyberbullying issues. The risks and repercussions for the victim, the bully, and witnesses of the occurrence should be documented; the school community should be notified promptly, the realities of cyber-terror should be publicly addressed, and all bullying participants should be educated about appropriate coping techniques. Counselors and psychologists, as well as the family and educational community, must all support preventative programs and coping intervention techniques. Bullying and cyberbullying can be avoided through an interdisciplinary approach or as part of a basic and secondary school curriculum.

With such a prevalence of cyberbullying among teenagers and young people on social media and the evident harmful impact that it is causing, the issue needs to be thoroughly examined to determine the reasons which drive bullies and the psychological consequences it brings to the victims. The hypothesis that is to be examined in this research is that bullying on social media creates emotional disturbances among youth. As a result, the study will examine the most effective prevention and management strategies that can help reduce cyberbullying among adolescents and young people.

Literature Review

With the disruption of the internet, mobile phones, and computers, advancements in communication technology have bred cyberbullying. According to a preliminary study, teens utilize social technology in an “always-on” mode, extending their ability to interact with peers, establish social plans, and support one another even when they are physically apart (Weber, 2014). Cyberbullying has become a serious pandemic in the virtual world in recent years. Bill Belsey, a Canadian academic, coined the phrase in 2005. (Palaghia, 2021).

With the rapid advancement of technical innovation, bullying has a more stressful effect (Parmar et al., 2017). Several prior research has found that the interaction between teenagers and their peer groups has a significant impact on adolescent cyberbullying behavior (Velensia et al., 2021). Furthermore, many kids who are victims of cyberbullying suffer silently and are unwilling to speak to their parents or authorities, resulting in social humiliation (Begum et al., 2019). The repercussions are far more catastrophic than in traditional mobbing since the aggressors come directly into the place where the victim is at any given time (Palaghia, 2021).

There is also a power imbalance in cyberbullying. Unlike traditional bullying, which is frequently physical or social, cyberbullying typically relies on the ability to grasp and negotiate the complexities of various social platforms in order to hide behind anonymity or distribute information fast (Pelfrey & Weber, 2013). The concept of recurrence in cyberbullying is a little hazy. When we think of repetition, we think of an activity that occurs repeatedly. However, with cyberbullying, a cyberbully’s behavior might be broadcast to hundreds of others (for example, by sending a humiliating photo text or making a Facebook post), which can have serious implications for the victim (Singh, 2020). In cyberbullying, the aim is to cause harm to the victim, and it is based on victim impact, which is based on perception (Pelfrey & Weber, 2013). Cyberbullying may occur in a variety of ways, utilizing a variety of online social tools. Cyberbullies can send nasty messages directly to targets and spread rumors around the peer network using instant messengers, mobile phone text messaging, and social media at the most basic level (Makarova, 2019).

According to research, people who are seen as different in terms of physical looks and social standards are more likely to be bullied (Pelfrey & Weber, 2013). Those with craniofacial abnormalities are a distinct category of people who do not conform to social norms and may be bullied (Jones et al., 2021). The cyber victim is an isolated individual with poor self-esteem who is heavily focused on networking and detached from the real world and who is abused by aggressors who take advantage of every chance to ridicule others (Palaghia, 2021). The etiological perspective prioritizes the teenagers’ personal satisfaction; they acquire a desire to hurt others, or they want attention from other Internet users, who might reward them with digital support such as likes and comments, out of boredom and lack of employment (Singh, 2020). Because a victim of conventional bullying can become a violent attacker in the virtual world, another triggering element for violence could be a desire for vengeance (Palaghia, 2021).

Cyberbullying has evolved into a significant and thought-provoking issue all across the world, particularly among students, within that electronic era. It is also common at the collegiate level (Singh, 2020). A growing number of studies are looking at the topic of cyberbullying in the secondary school setting, finding that higher education is not immune to the problem (Parmar et al., 2017). Multiple studies have found that the prevalence of cyberbullying among college students ranges from 8.6% to 15%. (Singh, 2020). It’s also worth noting that when students are subjected to cyberbullying, their academic performance suffers correspondingly (Mc Guckin & Corcoran, 2017). Many studies have revealed that cyberbullying victims are unable to focus in class and are also frightened to attend the class for this reason (Batool et al., 2017).

The influence of cyberbullying on offline activities is one of the most pressing issues among scholars and the wider public (Arat贸 et al., 2021). Bullying victims are more likely to worry, loathe themselves, feel despair, and avoid school, according to researchers (Pelfrey & Weber, 2013). Bullying and being bullied both contribute to higher consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, and illicit substances (Weber, 2014). Furthermore, attackers and their victims are more prone to interact with others who have gone through similar experiences and compensate by engaging in aggressive activities (Batool et al., 2017).

Students can deal with cyberbullying in a variety of ways. Several research has used the General Strain Theory (GST) to explain bullying involvement, particularly victimization, and delinquency, leading to the conclusion that bullying, as a type of strain, is strongly linked to increased delinquency (Guo, 2021). People’s degrees of social control, negative emotionality, and deviant peers and ideals are said to influence whether they use deviant coping techniques in response to stress (Arat贸 et al., 2021).

The cyber victim is a lonely individual with poor self-esteem who is strongly influenced by others (Begum et al., 2019). Individuals were more likely to be bullied progressively if they had mental or behavioral health problems, numerous marginalized identities, or if bullying was not handled when researchers looked at varied rates of bullying victimization (Jones et al., 2021).

Cyberbullying has severe effects on victims, and the hostility can continue for a long time. Anxiety, sadness, behavioral and emotional problems, as well as severe repercussions may be experienced by children who have been victims (Mc Guckin & Corcoran, 2017). Anger, despair, indifference, and worry are common reactions among cyberbullying victims (Guo, 2021). The most concerning effect of cyberbullying is a suicide, which is the second highest cause of mortality among children and adolescents, according to research (Palaghia, 2021). Suicide contemplators are typically conflicted about committing suicide and usually seek aid.

Furthermore, gender differences in strain types, responses to strain, and conditioning variables that attenuate strain effects may exist (Parmar et al., 2017, Begum et al., 2019). Boys who are angry, irritated, or sad are more likely to externalize their stress by participating in violent activities whereas girls are more likely to internalize their stress, which can lead to drug addiction and dependency (Begum et al., 2019).

While cyberbullying has terrible consequences for young people, the research also reveals helpful coping methods. One of the most important resources of the environment is social support (Makarova, 2019). Many researchers have recently begun to look at how family factors influence teenagers’ eventual engagement in cyberbullying behaviors (Jones et al., 2021). Positive, open, and empathic family communication appears to be a protective factor, lowering the chance of participation in cyberbullying behaviors (Arat贸 et al., 2021). Cyberbullying may be avoided by an interdisciplinary approach or as part of a basic and secondary education program (Singh, 2020).

Cyberbullying is a common occurrence among teens, according to research (Parmar et al., 2017). Traditional bullying and cyberbullying are distinguished by the quickness and possible scope of the audience connected with social networking (Pelfrey & Weber, 2013). Unlike traditional bullying, which was characterized by a bully-victim connection, cyberbullying in social networking environments may quickly generate an audience of hundreds (Guo, 2021). Because of the shame associated with the bullying of this magnitude, affected teens may believe there is no way out (Batool et al., 2017). This sense of powerlessness has been linked to school violence, suicide, and hazardous conduct.

Research Questions and Hypothesis

Based on the literature review, there is a considerable amount of empirical research regarding cyberbullying and its influence on youth. Cyberbullying in schools and universities is causing unimaginable problems for students, parents, and educational institutions. Regrettably, little has been done in the name of digitization and modernity to help individuals who are constantly trapped and abused. As social networks expand in cyberspace, they will undoubtedly lead to the creation of Internet-free gateways to mislead web users from inexperienced young people. As a result, the major goal of this study is to determine:

  1. What avenues are being taken into consideration for how cyberbullying will be curbed?
  2. Why is cyberbullying so prevalent among young people?
  3. What psychological consequences does cyberbullying cause?

The testing hypothesis of the study is that bullying in social media creates significant emotional disturbances among youth that interferes with their social interactions and social life.


The research was conducted through a secondary data collection method. To address individually defined research objectives, this technique was used to leverage secondary data analysis and undertake an analysis of current studies that study cyberbullying among teenagers. The quantitive research methods that were used to further display the results of the study include survey researches, which includes samples from different world regions. Such a method was chosen to evaluate the differences and similarities in reactions to cyberbullying among the youth of different cultural backgrounds. Moreover, in the research, a specific study including people with health impairments was used to more comprehensively examine the effect of cyberbullying. The studies used sample sizes from 43 to 74,347 pupils, including adolescents from the USA, Russia, Pakistan, India, Canada, and China.


According to one research, 38 (88.4%) of the 43 participants who matched the survey’s inclusion requirements said they had been bullied (Jones et al., 2021). All of the individuals were born with a craniofacial abnormality and experienced speech problems and/or facial abnormalities as a result of their condition.

Over 10% of the sample population in a survey of over 3,000 adolescent participants from a big urban metropolis characterized themselves as cyberbullies, with over 3% admitting to doing so on a regular basis (Pelfrey & Weber, 2013).

When it comes to people’s self-esteem on social media, 40.0 percent of respondents said they are constantly worried or terrified when their images are misused (Batool et al., 2017). Students who were involved in cyberbullying had a substantially poor level of self-esteem (18/100) in research involving English children in grades 8-12 (Parmar et al., 2017). Adolescents who were active in cyberbullying had a moderate degree of sadness (62.50 percent) and a moderate level of anxiety (75 percent ) (Parmar et al., 2017).

In fact, being a cyberbully victim has been linked to an increased risk of physical fights and substance abuse in a number of studies. Furthermore, being a victim of cyberbullying had a larger link to physical fights when teenagers had more delinquent friends and a weaker link to drug users when they had lower levels of negative emotion (Pelfrey & Weber, 2013; Parmar et al., 2017; Makarova, 2019).

There is a clear distinction in how cyberbullying affects male and female persons. The majority of females felt that cyberbullying harms their relationships and impacts them emotionally and academically, whereas the majority of males reported no changes in their relationships, emotional lives, or academic lives (Batool et al., 2017). These findings, however, are evident in research performed among Pakistani young who have different cultural habits than those in European or North American countries. Nevertheless, similar results were indicated in studies among US teenagers, where, according to the results from the secondary data, the impacts of cyberbullying on female students were found to be substantially larger (3.52%) than those on male students (Begum et al., 2019; Guo, 2021).

In comparison to those who were not involved in cyberbullying, those who were involved in cyberbullying had poorer self鈥揺steem, greater anxiety, and sadness across all studies. Moreover, we discovered that females and people with certain health conditions are more prone to cyberbullying as well as, female respondents were more psychologically affected by online bullying compared to males.


Cyberbullying is a relevant study subject due to the ubiquity, relevance, and rapid growth of social networking technologies. The results of this study indicated that cyberbullying has significant emotional and psychological impacts on kids. In today’s world, a large number of young people use social media platforms for a variety of reasons. There is both negative and beneficial usage of sites, as people make threats, abuse other people’s information, and spread misinformation on social media, all of which have an impact on individuals. The harmful usage of social networking sites by children leads to cyberbullying, which has a detrimental impact on the psychology of children, causing an emotional disturbance and social connection gaps, as confirmed by a later study.

The findings showed that being a victim of cyber-bullying had a more direct and immediate link to retaliatory outbursts, leading to violence rather than nonretaliatory misbehavior, such as drug abuse. Furthermore, researchers have found that peers who have a lower level of social control, as well as a higher level of delinquent peer connection and negative mood, are more likely to engage in physical fights and use substances. Furthermore, the findings revealed that those with craniofacial abnormalities and other physical disabilities are more prone than the general population to be bullied. A similar tendency is seen among females, which are also more prone to cyberbullying as well as more responsive to its negative consequences.

The findings of this study demonstrated that cyberbullying has increased the emotional and psychological impacts on adolescents and that the abuse of personal information and threats causes feelings of insecurity, despair, annoyance, and stress among them. There is a strong link between cyberbullying and depressed symptomatology, according to the findings. Adolescents that engage in cyberbullying experience more depressive symptoms. Frustration, humiliation, fear, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, loneliness, self-harm, and other unpleasant feelings may contribute to depression among them.

These data suggest that increasing teenage participation in cyberbullying activities reduces self-esteem and raises anxiety and depression levels. Guilt, societal disapproval, isolation, despair, inability to share and receive relief, lack of coping ability, poor perception, attention-seeking behavior, a weak support system, the age of experimentation, storm and stress, and increased use of technology are all possible reasons.

As a result of the findings of this study, it can be inferred that the prevalence of cyberbullying is not less to demonstrate the rise of this dangerous scenario. The problem of cyberbullying can be handled since its scope is limited. Cyberbullying has a negative influence on teenagers’ psychological health (self-esteem, sadness, and anxiety). It is critical to take the appropriate precautions to protect teenagers from the cyberbullying pandemic and its long-term effects on their mental health.


Although this study yielded a number of intriguing and possibly significant findings, there are many key validity and reliability constraints that must be considered when interpreting the data. Secondary sources were used to compile the data, which included research done in a variety of nations and historical periods. As a result, findings may differ from one nation to the next and from one year to the next, resulting in a self-selection bias. Because the analyses were based on secondary data, the results may differ from those of research that used first-hand data.

Despite these flaws, the findings have major theoretical and practical consequences. Understanding teenage aggression and drug use require distinguishing the impacts of various cyberbullying roles and the corresponding conditioning effects. As a result, when designing intervention programs that consider a variety of moderating factors (e.g., peer connection, social support, or individual emotionality), different emphasis should indeed be paid to teenagers in order to prevent cyberbullying-involved youths from deviant coping.


Because of the growing use of social media and the importance of these platforms in society, cyberbullying is an important area of study. The statistics clearly show that cyberbullying is a major problem among middle and high school pupils. Although the percentages of victims and offenders who claimed frequent engagement in cyberbullying are minor, a large number of students are targeted on a daily basis, and almost twice as many students conduct cyberbullying each day.

Based on the foregoing results and discussion, the following advice is made: Parents, teachers, and other professionals who interact with children should be well-versed in children’s emotions and coping methods in order to cope with this phenomenon. Different activities might be carried out in schools to raise awareness of cyberbullying, as well as training programs to teach kids how to deal with cyberbullying.

Peers, mentors, and trustworthy adults can occasionally publicly act to favorably affect a situation in which nasty or cruel material about a kid is posted. To try to change the discourse in a good direction, public intervention might involve posting nice remarks about the individual who is being bullied. It might also be beneficial to convey your concern to the youngster who is bullying and the target of the bullying. If feasible, establish whether more professional assistance is required for people involved, such as consulting with a guidance counselor or mental health expert.


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PsychologyWriting. "Cyberbullying in Social Psychology." September 7, 2023.