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Cyberbullying Across the Lifespan of Education: Issues and Interventions from School to University

Myers, C. A. ORCID: 0000-0001-8216-2844 & Cowie, H. (2019). Cyberbullying Across the Lifespan of Education: Issues and Interventions from School to University. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(7), 1217. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16071217


Research on cyberbullying amongst students has tended to be conducted separately within specific education institutional contexts, schools, further education (FE) and higher education (HE), neglecting a view that takes account of the entire educational lifespan. The present article addresses this gap in the literature, providing a novel take on examining its nature, social environments, legal consequences and potentially helpful interventions. To facilitate this, the article conceptualises cyberbullying in broad terms, recognising that it can take multiple forms of online and digital practice including: spreading rumours, ridiculing and/or demeaning another person, casting aspirations on the grounds of race, disability, gender, religion or sexual orientation; seeking revenge or deliberately embarrassing a person by posting intimate photos or videos about them without their consent; accessing another’s social networking profiles with malicious intent and socially excluding a person from a social network or gaming site. This article demonstrates that harm from cyberbullying is a cause for concern for students at each developmental stage and that there are continuities in its appearance that need to be challenged at each point in the educational lifespan. And inaccurately, by university, the idea that ‘nothing can be done’ still is one of the main concerns for the victims. The article concludes with five key recommendations for future research and practice across the educational lifespan.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Publisher Keywords: cyberbullying; peer support; bystanders; moral disengagement; cyberbullying and the law; mental health; social environment; cyberbullying interventions; educational lifespan.
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

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