Sameer Hinduja, Ph.D., is a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center.
He is recognized internationally for his groundbreaking work on the subjects of cyberbullying and safe social media use, concerns that have paralleled the exponential growth in online communication by young people. He has written seven books, and his interdisciplinary research is widely published and has been cited more than 18,000 times.
As a noted speaker and expert on youth and social media use, Hinduja also trains students, educators, parents, mental health professionals, and other youth workers how to promote the positive use of technology.
In addition, he is frequently asked to provide expert commentary by news organizations, and his work has been featured in venues that include CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, NPR's All Things Considered, the BBC, and The New York Times. Recently, he has received Auburn University's Global Anti-Bullying Hero Award, won Florida Atlantic University's Researcher of the Year award, presented on cyberbullying at a Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill, testified in front of the attorney general and the Department of Education, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, and served as a Fulbright Specialist Scholar at Dublin City University.
Hinduja is also the co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Bullying Prevention, a peer-reviewed journal from Springer.
Areas of Expertise (2)
Safe Social Media Use
Global Anti-Bullying Hero Award
Researcher of the Year
Florida Atlantic University
Michigan State University: Ph.D., Criminal Justice
Michigan State University: M.S., Criminal Justice
University of Central Florida: B.S., Criminal Justice
- International Journal of Bullying Prevention : Co-Founder and Co-Editor-in-Chief
Selected Media Appearances (24)
TikTok Ban Won’t Address Online Safety, Particularly for Girls and LGBTQ+ Youth
Teen Vogue online
Dr. Sameer Hinduja, codirector of the Cyberbullying Research Center and a faculty associate at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center, argues that we must educate youth to “properly create, analyze, and evaluate messages and content” to empower them to keep themselves and their peers safe.
What is digital self-harm? Why teens are posting hurtful things about THEMSELVES online
A study into the trend led by Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and professor of criminology at Florida Atlantic University, highlighted that around six per cent of adolescents had digitally self-harmed in 2016.
Four myths about peer pressure
The Washington Post online
There are times when peer pressure does involve coercion and when kids will need refusal skills. For instance, about 5 percent of middle and high school students across the country have experienced sextortion, which Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and a professor of criminology at Florida Atlantic University, defines as “the threatened dissemination of explicit, intimate or embarrassing images of a sexual nature without consent.” Hinduja added: “When you extrapolate it out to the millions of kids in the U.S., it’s a meaningful number.”
N.J. teen's suicide highlights dangers of social media bullying
Yahoo! News online
“The district needs to demonstrate they have policies and programming in place to prevent these incidents from happening,” Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and professor of criminology at Florida Atlantic University, told Yahoo News.
Inside the dangerous trend of 'digital self-harm' and why kids are engaging in it
Professor Sameer Hinduja of Florida Atlantic University has been studying ‘digital self-harm’ for about eight years. His most recent research, published in the journal Child and Adolescent Mental Health, found about 9 percent of adolescents anonymously posted something negative about themselves online.
Q-and-A with cyberbullying expert who is slated to speak in Omaha Nov. 17
Nebraska Examiner online
Active in the Florence Kiwanis Club, which has launched a “Stop Cyberbullying” campaign, the Bennetts helped gain momentum to host a visit Nov. 17 by Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center at Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University.
‘Digital Self-Harm’ Is on the Rise Among Teens: What Parents Can Do to Help
Study co-author Sameer Hinduja, PhD, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and professor of criminology at Florida Atlantic University, told Healthline that digital self-harm is defined as the “anonymous online posting, sending, or otherwise sharing of hurtful content about oneself.”
7 Ways Parents Can Fight Back Against Cyberbullying
As codirectors of the Cyberbullying Research Center, my colleague Sameer Hinduja and I have devoted our careers to exploring the causes and consequences of cyberbullying, and what can be done to stop it. We define cyberbullying as “willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones and other electronic devices.”
Snapchat safety features for parents announced
ABC News online
“Now, of course, those parents or guardians are not going to be able to see the content of any chats or content being exchanged between individuals, but at least they'll have a better idea of who they're talking to," Dr. Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and Professor of Criminology at Florida Atlantic University, told ABC News. "And ideally that will lead to the promotion of additional conversations related to safety, related to security and privacy and trust."
Meta expands parental controls, including virtual reality monitoring
"With VR technologies increasingly gaining traction, and the Quest becoming a favorite product of many youth, parents and guardians will now have access to a suite of tools to safeguard and stay involved with their teen's participation and experiences," wrote Dr. Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center, in the update's announcement.
Bullying Dropped as Students Spent Less Time in In-Person Classes During Pandemic
Education Week online
Sameer Hinduja, a co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and professor of criminology at Florida Atlantic University, said the center’s own studies of reported bullying were more mixed. In national surveys of middle and high school students, Hinduja and his colleagues found the share of students who said they had experienced cyberbullying rose 6 percentage points from 2019 to 2021, to 23.2 percent.
Bullying 2020: How to help kids deal with bullying over masks, politics and more
“We’re still waiting for some data to be published on cyberbullying among youth during the pandemic,” Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and professor of criminology at Florida Atlantic University told TODAY Parents, via email. “We have had educators across the nation message us for help as they were dealing with cyberbullying while their students were engaged in distance learning.”
The Fall of ‘Terrace House’
The New York Times online
“Our research has shown that laws and punishments do not deter cyberbullying aggressors,” said Sameer Hinduja, a criminology professor at Florida Atlantic University and a co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center. “What seems to matter most is the role of social institutions like the family, community and school in providing instruction and education in areas like empathy and resilience.”
Some cyberbullies show signs of PTSD, according to a UK study
Treating teens who engage in cyberbullying or are victims of cyberbullying should be a community effort with schools and doctors working together, said Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center.
Cyberbullying may increase during COVID-19 pandemic, expert says
“When smartphones and social media became ubiquitous for students, cyberbullying rates went up,” Sameer Hinduja, PhD, professor of criminology and criminal justice at Florida Atlantic University and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center, said in a news release.
Boys Are More Likely To Experience Dating Abuse Online, Study Says
“Most of the stories that I've heard recently truly involve the sending of private pictures, sexual pictures or videos, which then get released,” says Dr. Sameer Hinduja, the lead author of the study and a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at FAU. He’s also the co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center.
Don’t Talk to Strangers? These Apps Encourage It.
The Wall Street Journal online
A breed of upstart apps is taking on an internet function that might seem unneeded or even ill-advised: helping teens talk to strangers.
Texting Trauma: Many Teens Suffer 'Digital Dating Abuse'
US News online
While teen dating abuse has long been a problem, digital technology has opened up new ways for it to happen, according to lead researcher Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and a professor of criminology at Florida Atlantic University.
FAU Researcher Says We Should Teach Teens "Safe Sexting"
Miami New Times online
According to Sameer Hinduja, an FAU professor and codirector of the Cyberbullying Research Center, telling teens not to sext each other is unrealistic. Instead, he says, parents and educators should teach practices that will best shield minors from possible repercussions.
How to teach your teenagers to SEXT safely: Scientists give 10 tips – including sending pictures that are 'suggestive' and 'flirty' but not fully nude
Mail On Sunday online
'The truth is that adolescents have always experimented with their sexuality, and some are now doing so via sexting,' said paper author and Florida Atlantic University criminologist and cyber-bullying expert Sameer Hinduja.
The bully in the black mirror: Why more young Americans are cyber-bullying themselves
The Economist online
There were no bullies to find. The inquiry revealed that Natalie had secretly sent the abusive messages to herself. Such anonymous “digital self-harm”, as researchers call it, is increasingly common. A study in 2019 found that nearly 9% of American adolescents have done it, up from around 6% in a previous study from 2016, according to an author of both studies, Sameer Hinduja, director of the Cyberbullying Research Centre and professor of criminology at Florida Atlantic University.
Cyberbullying experts react to Instagram's new anti-bullying Restrict feature
ABC News online
Dr. Sameer Hinduja, the co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and a professor of criminology at Florida Atlantic University welcomed the Restrict feature as a "step in the right direction" from Instagram, but said it's still unclear how users will react to it.
@realDonaldTrump could undermine Melania Trump's cyberbullying initiative
Patchin and his colleague Dr. Sameer Hinduja have estimated as many as 25 to 30 percent fo students have been cyberbullied, with 10 to 12 percent reporting being cyberbullied in the last 30 days...
Kids with stronger self-image less vulnerable to bullying
Dr. Sameer Hinduja is a cyberbullying expert at Florida Atlantic University, and he knows how much words can hurt. “They don’t as compared, for example, to a punch, or a kick, or a push or a shove, but still absolutely they can cut deeply,” he says...
Selected Articles (3)
Deterring teen bullying: Assessing the impact of perceived punishment from police, schools, and parentsYouth Violence and Juvenile Justice
JW Patchin, S Hinduja
2018 While decades of criminological research have returned mixed results when it comes to deterrence theory, deterrence-informed policies continue to proliferate unabated. Specific to bullying among adolescents, many U.S. states have recently passed new laws – or updated old ones – increasing potential punishment for youth who abuse others. Police are becoming involved in bullying incidents more than ever before, and schools across the country are implementing new policies and procedures as a result of statewide mandates to crack down on the problem. Parents, too, are being pressured to respond to bullying or risk being prosecuted themselves. To assess whether youth are actually being deterred by these methods and messages, data were collected from approximately 1,000 students from two middle schools on their perceptions of punishment from various sources, as well as their bullying and cyberbullying participation. Results suggest that students are deterred more by the threat of punishment from their parents and the school, and least deterred by the threat of punishment from the police.
Bullying, cyberbullying, and suicideArchives of Suicide Research
S Hinduja, JW Patchin
2010 Empirical studies and some high-profile anecdotal cases have demonstrated a link between suicidal ideation and experiences with bullying victimization or offending. The current study examines the extent to which a nontraditional form of peer aggression—cyberbullying—is also related to suicidal ideation among adolescents. In 2007, a random sample of 1,963 middle-schoolers from one of the largest school districts in the United States completed a survey of Internet use and experiences. Youth who experienced traditional bullying or cyberbullying, as either an offender or a victim, had more suicidal thoughts and were more likely to attempt suicide than those who had not experienced such forms of peer aggression. Also, victimization was more strongly related to suicidal thoughts and behaviors than offending. The findings provide further evidence that adolescent peer aggression must be taken seriously both at school and at home, and suggest that a suicide prevention and intervention component is essential within comprehensive bullying response programs implemented in schools.
Bullies move beyond the schoolyard: A preliminary look at cyberbullyingYouth Violence and Juvenile Justice
JW Patchin, S Hinduja
2006 Bullying in a school setting is an important social concern that has received increased scholarly attention in recent years. Specifically, its causes and effects have been under investigation by a number of researchers in the social and behavioral sciences. A new permutation of bullying, however, has recently arisen and become more common: Techsavvy students are turning to cyberspace to harass their peers. This exploratory article discusses the nature of bullying and its transmutation to the electronic world and the negative repercussions that can befall both its victims and instigators. In addition, findings are reported from a pilot study designed to empirically assess the nature and extent of online bullying. The overall goal of the current work is to illuminate this novel form of deviance stemming from the intersection of communications and computers and to provide a foundational backdrop on which future empirical research can be conducted.