Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School Psychology

Major Professor

Sherry K. Bain

Committee Members

Chris Skinner, Jeannine Studer, John Lounsbury


Cyberbullying has evolved from the increasing use of technology, specifically electronic communication and social networking. Cyberbullying is defined as a means of bullying in which peers use electronic devices "to taunt, insult, threaten, harass, and/or intimidate a peer" (Raskauskas & Stoltz, 2007, p. 565). This could occur through a number of different electronic formats or devices such as email, social networking sites, cell phones, etc. In this study, participants included a total of 77 students attending a Southeastern Tennessee City Middle and High School. This included 23 seventh-grade students, 31 eighth-grade students and 23 ninth grade students. Participants were administered an online questionnaire that included a Demographic Information Sheet (Appendix E), the Bullying/Cyberbullying Scale (Smith et al., 2008), and The Inventory of Parental Influence (Campbell & Verna, 2007).

The prevalence of bullying, cyberbullying and victimization in this sample was high. Over half of the students (53.2%, n = 41) had taken part in bullying in their lifetime. About a third of the students (31.2%, n = 24) reported taking part in cyberbullying. Overall, 49.4% (n = 38) of the students had been bullied in their lifetime, while 28.6% were victims of cyberbullying (n = 22). Relative to males, significantly more females were both perpetrators of cyberbullying and bullying, and significantly more females were both victims of cyberbullying and bullying. I ran four discriminant function analyses to determine whether parental influences (help, support, and pressure), would predict bullying, cyberbullying and victimization by bullying and cyberbullying. All results were non-significant.

These findings enhance our understanding of the rates of occurrence of bullying, cyberbullying and victimization among adolescents. Internet use among adolescents should be monitored for potential trends. Implications for future research and school-based interventions are discussed.

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