An Investigation into Bullying and Cyberbullying: The Effects of Anonymity and Form of Bullying on Severity of Victim Impact

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Clinical Psychology


Department of Clinical Psychology


Advisor: Jackson Goodnight


Previous research suggests that cyberbullying may have a greater negative impact on victims than traditional bullying (Gilroy, 2013; Walker, Sockman, & Koehen, 2011), causing impaired mental health and psychological distress (Zalaquett & Chatters, 2014). The present study investigates why cyberbullying is found to have a greater negative impact, by examining perpetrator anonymity, perceived control, and frequency of bullying as possible mediating variables. Mediation analyses indicated that a reduction in perceived control significantly mediates the association between cyberbullying and depression. Mediation analyses also revealed that frequency of bullying significantly mediates the association between cyberbullying and anxiety. These findings suggest that cyberbullying is associated with higher levels of anxiety and depression through reduced levels of perceived control and increased frequency of bullying victimization.


Psychology, Cyberbullying, Bullying, Anonymity, Frequency, Perceived Control, Anxiety, Depression

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2018, author