Internet usage in children and adolescents has been increasing in a steadily fashion in the past number of years and with the increase in internet usage, a new form of bullying has developed – Cyber bullying. Cyber bullying can be defined as “the electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person,” (Merriam-Webster, 2012). This form of bullying can come through various mediums including but not limited to text messages, emails, videos, and social networking sites. There is an overwhelming amount of information that defines cyber bullying, identifies the demographics of bullies and victims of cyber bullying, and identifies the outcomes of cyber bullying on victims. More focus needs to be placed on who the perpetrators of this form of violence are and how this form of violence is linked to traditional bullying. This will allow researchers and practitioners to move forward with research and implementation preventative methods and intervention once the problem has already occurred.
Study methodology shows that higher rates of cyber bullying involvement (either perpetrator, victim or both bully and victim) are reported in situations of which participants are asked about being involved in specific behaviours related to cyber bullying rather than being asked explicitly if they have been involved in cyber bullying (Mishna, Khourg-Kassabri, Gadalla, & Daciuk, 2012).
Demographically, it has been reported that boys are more likely than girls to be perpetrators of cyber bullying whereas girls are more likely than boys to be involved in both aspects of cyber bullying – the perpetrator and the victim (Mishna, Khourg-Kassabri, Gadalla, & Daciuk, 2012; Sengupta & Chaudhuri, 2011; Slonje & Smith, 2008). However, female teens are more likely than male teens to set up a social networking profile which may increase their likelihood of being bullied (Sengupta & Chaudhuri, 2011). Additionally, a large amount of cyber bullying tends to take place within social groups. Perpetrators of need not be the traditional strong, powerful bully but could be the individual who is too shy to intimidate others in the traditional sense so they turn to the cyber world where they may remain somewhat anonymous (Juvonen & Gross, 2008; Mishna, Cook, Gadalla, Daciuk, & Solomon, 2010; Mishna, Saini, & Solomon, 2009). One study showed that over half of the perpetrators of cyber bullying are friends of the victim, and a further amount of perpetrations know the victim (Kowalski & Fedina, 2011).
It has been demonstrated in a number of studies that the more time an individual spends on the computer and internet, the more likely they are to be cyber bully victims, perpetrators or both the victim and bully (Mishna, Khourg-Kassabri, Gadalla, & Daciuk, 2012; Sengupta & Chaudhuri, 2011). The most common mediums of cyber bullying are through email, instant messages, or internet social networking sites; however, the medium with the greatest impact on...