Blog and Articles.

Adolescent Digital Self-Harm Over Time: Prevalence and Perspectives

Digital self-harm, the anonymous online posting, sending, or otherwise sharing of hurtful content about oneself, has not received the same amount of scholarly scrutiny as other forms of self-directed abuse. In the current paper, we analyze three independent national surveys of U.S. teens (aged 13–17, M = 14.96) in repeat cross-sectional studies conducted in 2016 […]

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The Nature and Extent of Youth Sextortion: Legal Implications and Directions for Future Research

Sextortion, the threatened dissemination of explicit, intimate, or embarrassing images of a sexual nature without consent, is an understudied problem. Despite a recent increase in reported incidents among adolescents in the United States, little is known about the nature and extent of sextortion among this population. The current research explores sextortion behaviors among a national […]

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Digital Self-Harm: The Growing Problem You’ve Never Heard Of

Sameer and I first became aware of digital self-harm over a decade ago when we learned of the suicide of Hannah Smith. She was 14 years old when she ended her life after being mistreated online. The resulting investigation determined that the threats and hurtful comments directed toward her on the anonymous app Ask.fm were […]

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Lessons Learned from Ten Generative AI Misuse Cases

Generative AI can contribute to a wide range of possible risks and harms that can affect the emotional and psychological well-being of others, their financial state of affairs, and even their physiological health and physical safety.  Both users and platforms (as well as government!) have a clear role to play, and I’ve explained their respective […]

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Teens and AI: Virtual Girlfriend and Virtual Boyfriend Bots

A school counselor who works in a private school in California recently emailed me to ask for help as it relates to students and the misuse of specific AI bots. Her concerns, though, did not surround general purpose AI bots like Snapchat’s My AI or Microsoft’s CoPilot, but rather those that are specifically used as […]

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Cyberbullying legislation and case law: Implications for school policy and practice

This Fact Sheet provides a summary of important court cases and pending legislation that can help school administrators evaluate and improve their current cyberbullying policies and procedures. Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J.W. (2024). Cyberbullying legislation and case law: Implications for school policy and practice. Cyberbullying Research Center. Retrieved [insert date], from https://cyberbullying.org/cyberbullying-legal-issues.pdf Download PDF

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When Your Mother is Your Cyberbully

Last winter when Sameer and I were writing the third edition of Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard (published last fall!), we spent quite a bit of time searching for unique examples of cyberbullying to include in the book. One of the more interesting cases I came across involved a 14-year-old girl from Beal City, Michigan. I […]

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Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying (3rd edition)

We’ve updated our award-winning, best-selling book and hope you check it out, given that so much has changed since the 2nd edition. We remain fully committed to supporting educators, youth mental health professionals, families, community leaders, and others who serve young people as they navigate social media and gaming issues and seek to promote well-being […]

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World Anti-Bullying Forum 2023!

It’s been over a month, but I still catch myself smiling when I think of the memories made at the 2023 World Anti-Bullying Forum (WABF). For those not familiar, WABF is an international forum and biennial conference focused on understanding and preventing bullying, cyberbullying, and other forms of interpersonal violence against children and young people. Delegates […]

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What To Do When Your Child is Cyberbullied: Top Ten Tips for Parents

(For a formatted .pdf version of this article for distribution, click on the image above [or click here]). Spanish Translation Available Here Discovering that your child is being cyberbullied is painful and challenging. Here’s what to do: 1. MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD IS (AND FEELS) SAFE. Their safety and well-being should always be your foremost […]

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Tech Use/Abuse Prevention: Questions Parents Should Ask Their Children

Spanish Translation Available Here It is important to talk with youth about what they are doing and seeing online.  Most of the time, they are using technology safely and responsibly, but sometimes they run into trouble.  As a parent, you want to establish an open line of communication so that they are comfortable turning to […]

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What To Do When Your Child Cyberbullies Others: Top Ten Tips for Parents

(For a formatted .pdf version of this article for distribution, click on the image above [or click here]). Spanish Translation Available Here Finding out that your child is mistreating others online can be frustrating. Here’s how to respond: Citation information: Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J.W. (2023). What To Do When Your Child Cyberbullies Others: Top […]

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Cyberbullying Continues to Rise among Youth in the United States

Here at the Cyberbullying Research Center, we routinely collect data from middle and high school students so that we can keep on top of what they are experiencing online. Over the last two decades, we have completed about twenty unique studies of teens and tweens in the United States involving more than 30,000 subjects. And…

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State Laws, Social Media Bans, and Youth: What Are We Doing?

There has been a flurry of activity related to new legislation intending to make social media and gaming platforms safer and more accountable to upholding expected standards of trust, security, transparency, and privacy. These laws are being proposed because of continued concern of possible ill effects of popular platforms on the well-being of young people.…

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Social Media, Youth, and New Legislation: The Most Critical Components

In my last piece, I discussed how some legislation in various US states has been proposed without careful consideration of the contributing factors of internalized and externalized harm among youth. More specifically, I expressed concern that the complexities surrounding why youth struggle emotionally and psychologically demand more than simplistic, largely unenforceable solutions. We recognize that…

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Takeaways from the Surgeon General’s Advisory on Social Media

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued an advisory earlier this year entitled “Social Media and Youth Mental Health.” In this public statement, Dr. Murthy summarizes the (limited and often methodologically shaky) research related to adolescents use of social media. His primary focus is on mental health, though other aspects of child wellbeing are also…

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