Dredge, R. K, Gleeson, J. F & de la Piedad Garcia, X. (2013). Progress and limitations in the measurement of cyber bullying. R. Hanewald. From cyber bullying to cyber safety: Issues and approaches in educational contexts 271-288. United States of America: Nova Science Publishers.
To date, the measurement of cyberbullying has been approached inconsistently throughout the research literature. In addition to the myriad of approaches to its measurement, there remains no agreement on a universal definition of cyberbullying. This creates further challenges for its measurement for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is difficult to measure a phenomenon that cannot be easily defined. Secondly, no widely accepted definition within the research literature leads to the development of measures used only in their respective researchers’ studies, and finally meaningful cross-study comparisons are problematic. Furthermore, accurately measuring cyberbullying is not only important for empirical research, but also for those working with real life manifestations of this issue across various clinical and educational settings appears to be a number of specific problems regarding the measurement of cyberbullying. These include inconsistencies in the measurement of prevalence rates which arise from problems with the construction of questions and problems with the response options provided in cyberbullying measures. Another feature of the measurement of cyberbullying that has varied across published studies is the duration of reference time periods over which participants are asked to recall incidents of cyberbullying. Furthermore, throughout the research on cyberbullying there is a lack of reported psychometric data on respective measures and related constructs. Lastly, differences remain in the specific cyberbullying behaviours or environments that are measured and the overall purpose of the cyberbullying measurement tool. Despite the fact that many of these concerns have been outlined in the traditional bullying measurement research, similar problems remain evident in the cyberbullying measurement research. This book chapter will review each of the above problem areas with a focus on how these issues have developed, affected the measurement of both cyberbullying perpetration and victimisation, and on alternative strategies to the measurement of cyberbullying.
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