For generations, children have been bullied in school and on the playground. Technology recently has opened a new frontier.

Cyberbullying—the act of inflicting or receiving negative, damaging, or abusive language or harassment through information and communications technology—is a pervasive and persistent school safety problem. It has the potential to present significant and lasting social, adjustment, and academic problems for perpetrators and victims alike.


With grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice, DSG, in conjunction with the American Institutes for Research and the University of Florida, conducted a large-scale systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that measure the impacts of school violence, bullying, and targeted cyberbullying prevention programming on cyberbullying perpetration and victimization outcomes, school performance indicators, and in-person bullying perpetration and victimization.

According to, cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else through, for example, social media ( Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter), text messages, and email. The intent often is to cause embarrassment or humiliation.

While programs to address cyberbullying prevention have proliferated, research on their effectiveness in preventing perpetration and victimization is nascent. A synthesis of the existing primary research findings is necessary so that policymakers and practitioners can respond appropriately to school violence and cyberbullying.

The multiyear study entailed comprehensive searches of the published and unpublished literature and data, thorough coding practices, and state-of-the-art meta-analytic techniques. We used multiple meta-regression techniques to examine heterogeneity among the effect sizes, and we translated the effect sizes into meaningful, easily understood metrics.


For more information about the Cyberbullying Study, contact DSG Director of Education Programs and Senior Research Scientist Fran Harmon at or 301.951.0056.