Robert Tokunaga

Bobby Tokunaga

Bobby Tokunaga (Assistant Professor) studies the social and psychological implications of using communication technologies. He is currently engaged in research that examines the deficient self-regulation of Internet use, the use of Internet-based technologies for the sexual solicitation of minors, and interpersonal factors promoting electronic monitoring and surveillance in relationships. He is also part of a group of international scholars charged with refining the definitions and methods used in cyberbullying research. His other research interests include investigating factors that moderate the aggression and hostility people experience following violent video game play and statistical methods used in meta-analysis. Dr. Tokunaga teaches various undergraduate courses in the Communicology Department, including theories of communicology, research methods, and the evolution of public discourse in the digital era.

Dr. Tokunaga is active in high school speech and debate activities in Hawai‘i. He advised speech and debate teams for eight years and has served in various capacities on the Executive Board of the Hawai‘i Speech League.



Ph.D. in Communication; Ph.D. Minor in Statistics  (University of Arizona, 2012)
M.A. in Speech (University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, 2007)
B.A. in Speech (University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, 2005)


Representative Publications

Tokunaga, R. S. (in press). Interpersonal surveillance over social networking sites: Applying a theory of negative relational maintenance and the investment model. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

Tokunaga, R. S. (2015). Perspectives on Internet addiction, problematic Internet use, and deficient self-regulation: Contributions of communication research. In E. L. Cohen (Ed.), Communication Yearbook 39 (pp. 131-161). New York, NY: Routledge.

Tokunaga, R. S. (2010). Following you home from school: A critical review and synthesis of research on cyberbullying victimization. Computers in Human Behavior, 26, 277─287.


Courses Taught

Undergraduate Courses

    • COMG 151: Personal and Public Speech
    • COMG 251: Principles of Effective Public Speaking
    • COMG 301: Introduction to Communicological Theories
    • COMG 302: Research Methods in Communicology
    • COMG 353: Argumentation and Debate
    • COMG 364: Persuasion and Social Influence
    • COMG 395: Research in Communicology
    • COMG 399: Internship
    • COMG 464: Evolution of Public Discourse in the Digital Era
    • COMG 499: Independent Studies (Advanced Research Methods and Design)

Graduate Courses

    • COMG 601: Theories of Communicology
    • COMG 602: Research Methods
    • COMG 702: Researching Relational Communication
    • COMG 781: Seminar in Relational Communication
      (Special Topic: Shaping Human Relationships through Communication Techologies)


Office: George Hall 316
Phone: 808.956.8202
Fax: 808.956.3947