Systematic Review of Cyberbullying Interventions for Youth and Parents With Implications for Evidence-Based Practice

Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2018 Feb;15(1):72-79. doi: 10.1111/wvn.12257. Epub 2017 Aug 31.


Background: Cyberbullying is a new risk factor for the well-being of pediatric populations. Consequences of cyberbullying include both physical and mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, and somatic concerns. Adolescents who have been victims of cyberbullying and developed secondary symptoms are often recommended to visit a healthcare provider to obtain effective, evidence-based treatment. To date, no interventions exist in the healthcare setting for adolescents who are victims of cyberbullying.

Aims: The purpose of this project is to review interventional studies on cyberbullying that have components for adolescents who have been involved with cyberbullying and their parents and to provide recommendations on effective intervention components with the goal of guiding clinical practice.

Methods: A systematic review was conducted using the Institute of Medicine guidelines. A comprehensive electronic literature search was completed targeting interventions of cyberbullying in any setting. No date limits were used. Literature was searched in MEDLINE, Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), PubMed, Communication and Mass Media Complete, Education Information Resource Center (ERIC), and PsycINFO databases. The following search terms were applied "cyberbullying" + "intervention" or "treatment" or "therapy" or "program." Only articles with a pediatric population were selected for review.

Results: Seventeen cyberbullying intervention programs in 23 articles were found to meet the search criteria. The most frequently used intervention components included education on cyberbullying for the adolescent, coping skills, empathy training, communication and social skills, and digital citizenship. Parent education on cyberbullying was also found to be important and was included in programs with significant outcomes.

Linking evidence to action: As youth present to healthcare providers with symptoms related to cyberbullying, effective interventions are needed to guide evidence-based practice. This review supports educating the individual youth and parent on cyberbullying and teaching the youth skills in communication and social, empathy, coping with cyberbullying, and digital citizenship.

Keywords: bullying; cyberbullying; evidence-based practice; intervention; parents; pediatrics; systematic review; youth.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Bullying / prevention & control*
  • Evidence-Based Practice / methods
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Risk Factors