“IH8U”: Confronting Cyberbullying and Exploring the Use of Cybertools in Teen Dating Relationships


Please address correspondence to: Antonia Rose-Garriga Alvarez, Director of Youth Suicide and Bullying Prevention, Mental Health America of Hawai`i, 1124 Fort Street Mall #205, Honolulu, HI 96813. E-mail: antonia@mentalhealth-hi.org


Cyberbullying among adolescents has been a major focus of attention in mainstream media and has been documented to have many negative effects, as evidenced by several highly publicized suicides of teens who had been bullied online. The growing body of research about cyberbullying has rarely considered, however, the practice of cyberbullying between intimate partners. This article focuses on the frequency, types, and effect of cyberbullying between intimate partners in teen dating relationships. I examine the use of cybertools (electronic forms of communication) as mechanisms of power and control in relationships for both the target and the perpetrator. Suggested methods of prevention and intervention for adults working with teens who are experiencing cyberbullying in dating relationships are discussed.