Abstract for: Investigation of Cyberbullying Phenomenon as an Epidemic

Cyberbullying research began in the late 1990s, and was largely in response to the growing use of technology among adolescents, as well as increased instances of cyber abuse among teenagers (Patchin & Hinduja, 2006; Yardi & Bruckman, 2011). Cyberbullying can have a long-lasting psychological impact on individuals; the result of which can include changes in self-efficacy, self- esteem and behavior. This study postulates that not only do these impacts have negative consequences on individuals, but that cyberbullying spreads through communities, societies, and the world similar to an epidemic. The general strain theory, the system dynamics SIR epidemic model, and prior cyberbullying research findings were used to develop a casual loop model to explain the underlying structure of the cyberbullying epidemic problem. Finally, directions for continued research are identified.