Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Psychology



First Advisor

John Young

Second Advisor

Alan M. Gross

Third Advisor

Danielle J. Maack

Relational Format



Cyberbullying can be defined as any intentionally aggressive act occurring through electronic forms of communication. Drawing on literature examining traditional, face-to-face bullying, it is likely that this relatively contemporary form of victimization is associated with emotional distress. This has yet to be examined with any empirical rigor, however, as there are few studies of the construct. The present research assessed prevalence rates of cyberbullying in youth in North Mississippi using a psychometrically sound measure. These rates were found to be towards the higher end of previous studies (67.6% with exposure to cyberbullying and 6.3% with clinically elevated levels of cyberbullying). Additionally, the relationship between cyberbullying and several form of emotional distress (i.e., anxiety, depression, and loneliness) were examined. Cyberbullying was significantly, positively associated with levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Furthermore, three hierarchal regressions demonstrated that cyberbullying remained a significant predictor of each form of emotional distress after controlling for overt and relational bullying accounting for 2.3% to 6.5% of the unique variance. Therefore, this study demonstrates that cyberbullying is a more significant problem facing youth than previous studies have indicated. This study also indicates that cyberbullying is significantly related to increases in emotional distress. Furthermore, statistical analyses suggest that cyberbullying is a distinct construct from traditional bullying and warrants further individualized research.


Emphasis: Clinical Psychology

Included in

Psychology Commons



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