Cyberbullying is an acute and urgent problem, the spread of which is increasing every year. This topic was chosen because cyberbullying is a relevant problem becoming more and more dangerous every year. As statistics show, from 2007 to 2019, the frequency of this phenomenon has almost doubled (Patchin, 2019). Simultaneously, the number of studies on this topic remains extremely small and does not cover all aspects of this phenomenon (Zhu et al., 2021). In addition, cyberbullying is exceptionally close to conventional forms of violence. This allows considering it from a criminological point of view. However, the number of such studies is also extremely small (Zhang et al., 2021). These aspects form gaps in the literature that complicate the development and implementation of suitable interventions and preventive measures. Therefore, the purpose of this proposed research study is to fill these gaps by looking at cyberbullying and its prevention from a criminological and international perspective.
As mentioned earlier, the very phenomenon of cyberbullying differs from other forms of violence only in the form of its implementation. Therefore, this phenomenon can be viewed from a criminological perspective and suppressed with the help of the judicial system.
However, at the moment, the introduction of meaningful countermeasures is difficult due to the lack of studies that do not cover all relevant factors (Zhang et al., 2021). This study, combining essential elements of this phenomenon, will allow the development of more effective measures for the interaction of the criminal justice system with the information field.
In the context of professional activity, this research proposal allows getting up-to-date skills and knowledge regarding the specifics of crimes related to modern technologies. Conducting this research will enable me to understand the essence and causes of cyberbullying better and find ways to counter both it and similar crimes.
From a theoretical perspective, cyberbullying is similar to other types of abuse. However, it is characterized by a close connection with modern technologies, which many researchers do not consider when applying the standard general aggression model or strain theory (Barlett et al., 2021).
Simultaneously, cyberbullying is impossible outside the Internet and other information networks and therefore has its own characteristics. Due to the constant informational involvement, this form of abuse can continue uninterrupted, putting enormous psychological pressure on a person.
Thus, from my perspective, a theoretical approach to cyberbullying should include the features of the information space, such as the anonymity factor and the lack of strict control (Ansary, 2020). As part of this proposal, it is proposed to develop this theory by combining elements of various studies and creating a complete picture that reflects the characteristic features of cyberbullying.
In this context, the following three studies are the most relevant.
Ansary (2020) looks at the theoretical and conceptual perspectives on cyberbullying to provide a theoretical basis for research. As the study shows, there is no scientific consensus on many concepts, which significantly complicates the work. Consequently, Ansary (2020) aims to bring clarity to the academic understanding of this phenomenon.
The work of Zhu et al. (2021) focuses on cyberbullying as a phenomenon, analyzing an international perspective, risk factors, and protections. Filling in the gaps in the literature, the author emphasizes the lack of research and the narrowness of the topics under consideration, which prevent effective countering of online abuse.
Finally, Chan et al. (2019) investigate the features of the functioning of abuse in social networks, thereby providing material characterizing the technological features of cyberbullying. The author considers this phenomenon from a criminological point of view, which makes it possible to identify criminals and prevent the facts of psychological violence more effectively.
Research Question and Methodology
The research question proposed in this proposal combines three main components of the cyberbullying problem. It is necessary to identify its causes as a criminal phenomenon, consider an international perspective, and explore both existing and theoretical methods for preventing such abuse.
Therefore, the research question is formed as follows: what are the causes of cyberbullying as a crime from an international perspective, and what are the practical and theoretical ways to combat this phenomenon?
To answer this question, it is proposed to use survey research as a methodology. This method of collecting information is the most efficient and flexible and allows interviewing a wide variety of people: both victims of cyberbullying and criminals (“Criminology and criminal justice research,” n.d.).
Other methods are either unsuitable by design or challenging to implement due to gaps in the literature (Gaffney et al., 2019). Therefore, to obtain information, it is proposed to compile a special questionnaire that combines open- and closed-ended questions to get both opinions and factual information.
This research proposal demonstrates existing gaps in the literature and research on cyberbullying. As various articles show, this problem has become increasingly relevant in recent years due to the active development of technology. However, the pace of development of scientific literature and preventive measures is insufficient to counter the growth of cyberbullying effectively. In addition, modern literature often considers only certain narrow aspects of this phenomenon, which does not allow addressing it thoroughly. Therefore, my literature analysis will enable me to propose a research format that includes this problem’s most crucial and relevant elements. By looking at the causes of cyberbullying from a criminological perspective in a global context, I will be able to lay the groundwork for more practical applications of both current and future countermeasures.
Ansary, N. S. (2020). Cyberbullying: Concepts, theories, and correlates informing evidence-based best practices for prevention. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 50, 101343. Web.
Barlett, C. P., Rinker, A., & Roth, B. (2021). Cyberbullying perpetration in the COVID-19 era: An application of general strain theory. The Journal of Social Psychology, 161(4), 466-476. Web.
Chan, T. K., Cheung, C. M., & Wong, R. Y. (2019). Cyberbullying on social networking sites: the crime opportunity and affordance perspectives. Journal of Management Information Systems, 36(2), 574-609. Web.
Criminology and criminal justice research: Methods. (n.d.). Law Library – American Law and Legal Information. Web.
Gaffney, H., Farrington, D. P., Espelage, D. L., & Ttofi, M. M. (2019). Are cyberbullying intervention and prevention programs effective? A systematic and meta-analytical review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 45, 134-153. Web.
Patchin, J. W. (2019). Summary of our cyberbullying research (2007-2019). Cyberbullying Research Center. Web.
Zhu, C., Huang, S., Evans, R., & Zhang, W. (2021). Cyberbullying among adolescents and children: a comprehensive review of the global situation, risk factors, and preventive measures. Frontiers in Public Health, 167. Web.
Zhang, S., Leidner, D., Cao, X., & Liu, N. (2021). Workplace cyberbullying: A criminological and routine activity perspective. Journal of Information Technology, 02683962211027888.