Cyberbullying: A 21st Century Health Care Phenomenon

Jemica Carter, PhD, RN; Feleta L. Wilson, PhD, RN, FAAN


Pediatr Nurs. 2015;41(3):115-125. 

In This Article

Implications for Future Research

Because of the exploratory nature of the study, further research is needed to validate the present findings. Replication of the study's findings should focus on increasing the sample size and obtaining a larger sample of suburban adolescents to explore similarities and differences in technology use and experiences with cyberbullying and traditional bullying. Re searchers should also examine the relationship between cybervictims and cyberbullies to determine if risk factors are present. Determining if certain types of electronic devices (e.g., Internet and social networking sites, cell phones, email) pose greater risks for cyberbullying is important. Finally, research should investigate the physical and psychological impact of cyberbullying among adminadolescents who have special needs (e.g., physical and psychological disabilities).

Improvements in research strategies are recommended for future studies. A number of concerns emerge from the quantitative research design (e.g., survey). Adolescents may be reluctant or unable to report an accurate picture of cyberbullying activities, particularly in survey form (Dehue, Bolman, & Vollink, 2008). Qualitative research designs (e.g., interviews, focus groups) may be more effective in obtaining detailed descriptions from participants regarding technology use and cyberbullying activity and "giving them a voice" as the researcher attempts to understand their experiences (Dehue et al., 2008; Smith et al., 2008). Additional re search can guide nurses and other health care professionals to select best practices or use evidence-based practice strategies that have been found to be effective in preventing cyberbullying, as well as help nurses understand the adverse physical, psychological, and social consequences of cyberbullying.