Literature Review – Sample
Research Problem: How Physical Intimidation Influences the Way People are Bullied
A Literature Review in research is often knowledge or areas that are reviewed for existing knowledge
through previous studies. The following page is a small selection of how a literature review is written
as part of a Research Proposal.
Assessment 2 requires each one of you to review and write about a small area of knowledge that
collectively would eventually from the whole section of the Literature Review in the Research
The outline of the original sample is as below and the highlighted section is where the sample is
Cover Page and Title
Introduction and Research Problem
Review of Literature
Prevalence of Cyberbullying
Effects of Cyberbullying
Research Design and Methodology
Limitations and Ethical Issues
The sample provided reflects how your submission for Assessment 2 should be: the review of the
small section / knowledge that you have reviewed and your references.
Assessment 2: Literature Review
Review of Literature
Prevelance of Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is something that is has become a new social phenomenon in today’s society. It can
often times leave students unable to escape their bullies and leave them feeling alone and helpless.
Faucher, Jackson, and Cassidy (2014) performed a study on 1925 students across four Canadian
universities that found 24.1 percent of students had been the victims of cyberbullying over the last
twelve months. These shocking numbers show that nearly one in every four people have been the
victims of this phenomenon. This statistic is interesting however because when compared to studies
that were done amongst younger age students you see that the numbers are drastically different.
Wegge, Vandebosch, and Eggermont(2014) found that among 1,458 13-14 year old students that
considerably less students reported being cyberbullied. This is very similar to what Vanderbosch and
Van Cleemput (2009) found among 2052 students in the 12-18 ranges which concluded that 11.1
percent of students had been victims of cyberbullying. This research concludes that cyberbullying
appears to be more prevelant in students as they get older. Wegge et al. (2014) also noted that 30.8
percent had been victims of traditional bullying.
This raises the question as to why it seems to be less prevalent among younger students. Is it
possible that they simply do not have as much access to the tools of cyberbullying that students at
the university level have, or they possibly are not as technologically advances as their older peers? It
continues to raise questions about the issue of cyberbullying as well as what classifies the
perpetrators as well as what are their reasons for harming others.
The types of people who bully
An important factor when analyzing cyberbullying is trying to understand the types of people who
are the aggressors. The first thing that needs to be discussed when analyzing this is the simple
matter of gender when it comes to who is generally the aggressor. Slonje and Smith (2008) found
that when it comes to cyberbullying males are more often than not the aggressors with males being
reported as the cyberbully far more often than females. Slonje et al (2008) also found that 36.2
percent of students were unaware of the gender of their aggressors. This is intriguing because for
one, it is the same percentage as the number of males who bullied, but most importantly because it
shows that over 1 in 3 students do not actually know who is bullying them, which adds to the fear
and stigma that is related to cyberbullying and not being able to escape the perpetrators.
The types of people who are victims
Researchers have also conducted various studies on the types of people who are cyberbullied, or
what is often referred to as “cybervictomology”. Abeele and Cock (2013) conducted a study, which
concluded that the gender of victims varied greatly depending on the form of cyberbullying. Abeele
et al. (2013) found that males are more likely to be on the receiving end of direct cyberbullying while
females are more likely to be the victims of indirect cyberbullying such as online gossip among peers.
These findings appear to remain true to social social norms where males are viewed as more
confrontational, and females are often stereotyped as gossipers.
While not many studies look at the gender of the victims many studies do research things such as
the characteristics of the victims. Faucher et al. (2014) found that there were numerous reasons that
people felt they were the victims of cyberbullying such as their personal appearance, interpersonal
problems, as well as simply having discrepancies about their views. Davis, Randall, Ambrose, and
Orand (2015) also conducted a study about victims and their demographics, which looked at the
reasons people, were cyberbullied. Some of the results in the Davis et al. (2015) study addressed
other reasons for being bullied in which they found that 14 percent of victims had been bullied
because of factors such as their sexual orientation.
These are all very important because it fits the profile of the traditional bully that many people
envision but it shows that it transfers over into the cyber world as well. This leads on further
questions about the relationship between the two and how the cyberbullying is influencing where
and how the harassment is continuing.
The relationship between bully and victim
The relationship between aggressor and victim is also something that has been heavily research
among professionals. Beran and Li (2007) conducted a study that involved 432 middle school
students and concluded that just under half of the students had been victims of cyberbullying as well
as traditional bullying. This is true across multiple studies. Wegge et al. (2014) also concluded that
people who were bullied in traditional manners had a much higher likelihood to become victims of
cyberbullying. Another interesting relationship between bully and victim is that studies have also
shown that people who are victims are likely to become aggressors in the online world. Beran et al.
(2007) confirms this by stating, “students who are bullied through technology are likely to us
technology to bully others”. Faucher et al. (2014) also found similar results claiming that male and
female students decided to bully people online because they were bullied first.
Research has also been done that looks at how the bullies find their victims. Wegge et al. (2014)
studied the perpetrators preferences in victims and found that 27 percent were in the same grade,
14.2 percent were in different grades and a staggering 49.6 percent were not schoolmates of the
bullies. This evidence somewhat contradicts that of the other studies that state victims are generally
bullied at school and at home because it shows that nearly half of the bullies prefer to bully people
they don’t go to school with and possibly have do not know at all. This continues to build and add to
the idea of cyberbullying in that it allows bullies to create their own personas and images in order to
try and intimidate and influence others without actually providing a physical intimidation factor.
Abeele, Mariek Vanden and Rozane de Cock. 2013. Cyberbullying by Mobile Phone Among
Adolescents: The Role of Gender and Peer Group Status. Communications: The European
Journal of Communication Research 38(1): 107-118. doi:10.1515/commun-2013-0006
Beran, Tanyaand Qing Li. 2007. The Relationship Between Cyberbullying and School Bullying.
Journal of Student Wellbeing 1(2): 15-33 doi: https://doi.org/10.21913/JSW.v1i2.172
Davis, Katie, David P. Randall, Anthony Ambrose and Mania Orand. 2015. ‘I was Bullied too’:
Stories of Bullying and Coping in an Online Community. Information, Communication &
Society 18(4): 357-375. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2014.952657
Faucher, Chantal, Margaret Jackson and Wanda Cassidy. 2014. Cyberbullying Among University
Students: Gendered Experiences, Impacts, and Perspectives. Education Research
International 1: 1-10. doi:10.1155/2014/698545
Slonje, Robert and Peter K. Smith. 2008. Cyberbullying: Another Main Type of Bullying?
Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 49(2): 147-154. doi:10.1111/j.1467-
Vanderbosch, Heidi and Katrien Van Cleemput. 2009. Cyberbullying Among Youngsters: Profiles
of Bullies and Victims. New Media & Society 11(8): 1349-1371.
Wegge, Denis, Heidi Vandebosch and Steven Eggermont. 2014. Who Bullies Whom Online: A
Social Network Analysis of Cyberbullying in a School Context. Communications: The
European Journal Of Communication Research 39(4): 415-433. doi:10.1515/commun-
Literature Review – Sample