Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Psychology



First Advisor

Alan M. Gross

Second Advisor

Scott A. Gustafson

Third Advisor

John N. Young

Relational Format



Research has shown that bullying has detrimental effects for both bullies and victims. Data also indicates that bullying, especially chronic levels of bullying, during childhood may lead to lasting negative effects in adulthood. The recent introduction of bullying through electronic media has sparked interest in examining bullying with older adolescents and young adults, as early research on cyber bullying suggests that this is a growing problem in the young adult population. The purpose of this study is to examine how perceived social support influences the relationship between cyber bullying and psychological functioning cyber bullying in the college population. A sample of undergraduate students was administered measures of cyber bullying victimization and perpetration, perceived social support, and psychological distress. Correlations suggested that cyber bullying victimization and perpetration were related to greater levels of depression, anxiety, and stress, and that higher levels of perceived social support were related to lower levels of cyber bullying victimization and perpetration. Moderation analyses revealed that for participants categorized as having high social support, as cyber bullying involvement increased (for both victims and perpetrators), stress also increased. This was not found for low social support participants. These findings suggest that cyber bullying is comin the college student experience and social support alone may not adequately buffer against negative psychological effects.


Emphasis: Clinical Psychology



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