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Comparative aspects of cyberbullying in Italy, England and Spain: findings from a Daphne Project

Authors:
  • Free University of Bolzano-Bozen
... Reviews suggest that cyber victimization ranges from 6.5 to 72% worldwide [7][8][9]11]. In Europe, rates of cyberbullying vary substantially between studies [12][13][14]. Ortega and colleagues [12] and Genta and colleagues [13] using the same sample from the DAPHNE II program compared emotional reactions and cyberbullying involvement rates between Spain, the United Kingdom and Italy, obtaining rates of 6.2, 4 and 5.4%, respectively. The "EU Kids Online" study of over 25,000 children between the ages of 9 and 16 reported prevalence of cybervictimization ranging between 2 and 14%, lowest in Italy and Portugal and highest in Estonia and Romania [14,15]. ...
... In Europe, rates of cyberbullying vary substantially between studies [12][13][14]. Ortega and colleagues [12] and Genta and colleagues [13] using the same sample from the DAPHNE II program compared emotional reactions and cyberbullying involvement rates between Spain, the United Kingdom and Italy, obtaining rates of 6.2, 4 and 5.4%, respectively. The "EU Kids Online" study of over 25,000 children between the ages of 9 and 16 reported prevalence of cybervictimization ranging between 2 and 14%, lowest in Italy and Portugal and highest in Estonia and Romania [14,15]. ...
... Socio-demographic risk factors and cultural differences Gender and age are the most prominent of the few socio-demographic variables that have been studied as potential risk factors associated with cyberbullying victimization, with rather inconsistent results [9,32]. Whereas the literature on traditional bullying regards females as greater victims of relational aggression, no such association has been clearly established in cyberbullying research [3,7,8,13,24,29,33]. Some studies have detected an inverse relationship between age and cyberbullying victimization [24,34], possibly due to the greater impulsivity of younger individuals and their increased likelihood of using SNS to meet new people [10], as well as a peak of cybervictimization amongst younger adolescents [24,34]. ...
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Background: The increasing use of the Internet and social network sites (SNS) has created a new domain of socio-emotional development for adolescents. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to explore cybervictimization across seven European countries, in relation to socio-demographic, Internet use and psychosocial variables. Methods: A cross-sectional school-based study was conducted in the participating countries: Germany, Greece, Iceland the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Spain. Anonymous self-completed questionnaires included sociodemographic data, internet usage characteristics, school achievement, parental control, the Internet Addiction Test and Achenbach's Youth Self-Report. Results: The highest rate of cyber victimization was found in Romania (37.3%) and the lowest in Spain (13.3%). Multiple logistic regression analyses gave differing results between countries. In Romania, Poland and Germany cyberbullying victimization was associated with SNS use, whereas Internet use was associated with increased odds of cybervictimization only in Romania. Cybervictimization was associated with greater internalizing behavior problems in all countries analysed, and with externalizing problems in all except Romania. Conclusions: Cyberbullying victimization is an on-going problem, which is subject to country-specific socio-demographic factors and diverse patterns of current Internet use and its development. Preventive measures should emphasize the integration of Internet communication technology education in educational contexts, and focus on the consistent association between cybervictimization and internalizing and externalizing difficulties.
... In some situations, online forums were created as spaces for multiple perpetrators to specifically post bullying content about the victim(s). Ackers, 2012;Bevilacqua et al., 2017;Brewer & Kerslake, 2015;Del Rey et al., 2015;Fletcher, Fitzgerald-Yau, Jones, Allen, Viner, & Bonell, 2014;Genta, Smith, Ortega, Brighi, Guarini, Thompson, Tippett, Mora-Merchán, & Calmaestra, 2012;Lasher & Baker, 2015;Monks, Robinson, & Worlidge, 2012;Oliver & Candappa, 2003;Pornai & Wood, 2010;Rivers & Noret, 2010;Smith et al., 2008 (Studies 1 and 2); Wolke, Lee, & Guy, 2017), Northern Ireland (n = 4; Devine & Lloyd, 2012;McClure Watters, 2011;McGuckin, Cummins, & Lewis, 2010;Purdy & York, 2016) and the Republic of Ireland (n = 4; Callaghan, Kelly, & Molcho, 2015;Corcoran, Connolly, & O'Moore, 2012;Cotter & McGilloway, 2011;O'Moore, 2012). One other international study presented results on cyberbullying in both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland (Livingstone et al., 2011). ...
... The prevalence of cyberbullying perpetration and victimization has varied greatly in more recent studies, from 2.5% (mobile bullying perpetration), 3% (internet bullying perpetration), 4.1% (mobile bullying victimization) and 6.6% (internet bullying victimization) for 2,227 Year 8 to 12 students in 2008 (Genta et al., 2012) to 13.5% of 1,144 ...
... Of the studies that used a specified timeframe for experiences of cyberbullying, children were asked about their experiences of cyberbullying perpetration and/or victimization in the past two (e.g. Genta et al., 2012;Purdy & York, 2016), three (e.g. Bevilacqua et al., 2017), six (e.g. ...
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Cyberbullying and cybervictimization are important and growing problems that have undesirable health-related outcomes. They are significantly related to school bullying and school victimization. This chapter reports the results of a systematic review of the prevalence of cyberbullying and cybervictimization in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It also reviews the effects of different methods of data collection and questioning techniques on prevalence estimates. Research suggests that girls are more likely to be cybervictims, while boys are more likely to be cyberbullies. Cyberbullying and cybervictimization are related to cognitive and psychological factors such as low self-esteem and loneliness, and they are more prevalent in deprived schools. The chapter finishes by reviewing policies and programmes that are designed to reduce cyberbullying and cybervictimization.
... As acknowledged by the Italian enactments, the role of teacher is very crucial in identifying, preventing and intervening against cyberbullying. However, there is converging evidence that teachers do not perceive themselves to be adequately prepared for this task, suggesting that more research needs to be conducted in order to understand how schools and communities can intervene with cyberbullying [3,[8][9][10]. In an Australian study, teachers reported to be less likely to recognize instances of cyberbullying, and were more uncertain about how to address bullying involving technology, compared to other forms of bullying [15]. ...
... In Italy, both a law to contrast cyberbullying [8] and guidelines for schools [9] have been recently approved, since previous studies have shown that cyberbullying is a severe phenomenon in Italian schools. Indeed, a higher rate of cyberbullying among Italian students in comparison to Spanish and UK students was described [10,11]. A high incidence of cyberbullying among Italian students was confirmed by another European project, suggesting higher program aimed at reducing cyberbullying and cybervictimization among 10 to 18 year olds or at changing its proximal determinants (knowledge, attitudes, social skills, coping strategies). ...
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Background: Cyberbullying is a serious threat to public health and teachers can play a key role in its detection, prevention and intervention. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of the RPC ("Relazioni per crescere"-Relationships to Grow) program, a short intervention, implemented at classroom level by trained teachers, aimed at improving awareness on cyberbullying and increasing proactive coping strategies to deal with cyberbullying behaviors. Method: The effectiveness of the RPC project was analyzed through an observational study (pre/post-intervention comparison), involving 898 Italian students of Lower Secondary schools (6th⁻8th grades). Results: Hierarchical logistic regression showed that after the intervention students were more likely to consider the different roles in cyberbullying (cyberbully, cybervictim, reinforce/assistant, defender and bystander/observer). In addition, hierarchical linear regressions highlighted an improvement of social coping and cognitive coping strategies after the intervention. Conclusions: RPC is a short, teacher-based program that can increase the awareness of cyberbullying among students and improves their effective coping strategies to address cyberbullying. Further research on the efficacy of short teacher-based programs would be worthwhile, given the limited financial and time resources of the schools, emphasizing the active and crucial role of teachers in tackling cyberbullying.
... Secondly, the opinion about cyberbullying was analyzed, since among pre-adolescents and adolescents, it is important to consider the relationship between young people and ICT, highlighting the amount of use of different digital media and the preferences and choices of young people in their free time (in relation to the Internet, mobile devices, telephones, television, etc.) [34]. ...
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The use of social networks as a social and educational environment emphasizes an approach to social problems (bullying, cyberbullying, sexism, racism) that has emerged in today’s society. Social networks offer a unique opportunity to increase channels for communication and socialization. The aim of this study is to analyze the adolescents’ attitudes in sports practice in their extracurricular environment, and it highlights the importance of didactic communication as a tool for social cohesion to guarantee the interaction between adolescents. This objective has been evaluated through the “Sport and Social Integration. Survey on Secondary Schools in Italy” questionnaire. In this paper, we focus our attention on Section II to go deeper into the participants’ opinion on previously mentioned social problems. The methods of research for this study were conducted through a descriptive, inferential, quantitative, and ex post facto design. The sample consisted of 286 Italian adolescents aged between 12 and 15 years old. Results show that there are positive correlations in the following variables: gender and verbal, psychological, or physical violence (Bullying) (r = 0.260) (Sig. = 0.000); gender and threats, crimes, and persecutions through the Internet (Cyberbullying) (r = 0.226) (Sig. = 0.000); gender and discrimination against women (Sexism) (r = 0.133) (Sig. = 0.025). In conclusion, this article underlines the importance of investing more systematically in the effort to prevent bullying and digital inclusion from an early age for the critical use of mobile devices and social networks.
... Studies examining bullying more generally (i.e. total scores instead of bullying sub-types) found that more masculine people tended to bully others (Craig & Peppler, 1995;Gini & Pozzoli, 2006;Phillips, 2007;Salmivalli, Lagerspetz, Bjorkqvist, Osterman, & Kaukianien, 1996). In contrast, more feminine people tended to be bullied (Breslau, Chilcoat, Kessler, Peterson, & Lucia, 1999;Genta et al., 2012;Gini, & Pozzoli, 2006). It seems that independence, self-affirmation, social dominance, aggressiveness, and other masculine features may increase the risk of being involved in bullying; on the other side, warmth, sensitivity, interdependence, and other feminine features may increase the risk of being victimized. ...
Article
The major aim of this study was to test the associations among independent self-contrual, femininity-masculinity and cyberbullying/cybervictimization among a university student sample. Atotal of 393 participants (56.2% females, 44.8% males) between the ages of 19 and 35 (M= 24.25, SD =2.51) were enrolled in three North Cyprus universities. The sample included the students from various national and cultural backgrounds. Following the empirical evidence and indirect/interaction models of risk and resilience proposed by Masten (2001), we hypothesized that independent self-construal would mediate and moderate the association between femininity-masculinity and cyberbullying / cyber-victimization. Specifically , independent self-construal was operationalized as a protective factor and femininity-masculinity dimensions were defined as risk factors when cyberbullying and cybervictimization was into account. The findings partly supported our hypotheses. The proposed mediator and moderator roles were not significant for the models which included masculinity and cyberbullying. However, the results revealed that higher independent self-construal orientation mediated and moderated significantly between femininity and cy-bervictimization. In other words, independent self-construal has been found as a protective factor against cybervictimization when the participants had feminine tendencies as a risk factor. The findings might have implications especially for practitioners who are working with vulnerable populations like victims of cyberbullying. Özet Bu araştırmanın temel amacı bir grup üniversite öğrencisinde bağımsız benlik anlamlandırması, kadınsılık-erkeksilik ve siberzorbalık-siberzorbalığa maruz kalma arasındaki ilişkilerin incelenmesidir. Araştırmaya üç farklı Kuzey Kıbrıs üniversitesinde öğrenim gören ve yaşları 19 ile 35 arasında değişen (Ort.= 24.25, S=2.51) toplam 393 öğrenci (%56.2 kadın, %44.8 erkek) katılmıştır. Örneklem farklı etnik ve kültürel kökenlerden gelen öğrencilerden oluşmuştur. Görgül kanıtları ve Masten'in (2001) risk ve dayanıklılığa ilişkin dolaylı ilişki/etkileşim modellerini takip ederek, bağımsız benlik anlamlandırmasının, kadınsılık-erkeksilik ve siberzorbalık-siberzorbalığa maruz kalma arasında aracı ve düzenleyici değişken olarak rol alacağı düşünülmüştür. Daha spesifik biçimde belirtmek gerekirse, bağımsız benlik anlamlandırması ko-ruyucu bir etmen, siberzorbalık ve siberzorbalığa maruz kalma durumlarında ise hem kadınsılık hem de erkeksilik birer risk etmeni olarak tanımlanmıştır. Bulgular hipotezimizi kısmen desteklemiştir. Önerilen aracı ve düzenleyici roller, siberzorbalık ve erkeksiliğin yer aldığı modeller için anlamlı sonuçlar ortaya çıkarmamıştır. Ancak bağımsız benlik anlamlandırmasına yönelik eğilimlerin kadınsılıkla siberzorbalığa maruz kalma arasında hem aracı hem de düzenleyici değişken olarak yer aldığı belirlenmiştir. Diğer bir deyişle bağımsız benlik anlamlandırmasının, bireylerin bir risk etmeni olarak kadınsı özellikler gösterdiği durumlarda siberzorbalığa karşı koruyucu bir etmen olduğu bulunmuştur. Araştırma bulgularının özellikle siberzorbalığa maruz kalan duyarlı popülasyonlarla çalışan uygulamacılara yol gösterici olabileceği düşünülmektedir.
... All answers were given on a 4-point Likert scale (0 = not at all, 1 = only once or twice, 2 = once a week, 3 = several times a week). The CB has been extensively used in Spain in previous studies with adolescents (e.g., Fonseca-Pedrero, 2017), and it is part of the DAPHNE instrument developed by the European Cyberbullying Research Project (Genta et al., 2011). Paykel et al., 1974) This 5-item (yes/no) questionnaire assesses suicidal thoughts and behaviors during the past year. ...
Article
Bullying and cyberbullying are common problems all over the world. One of their consequences can be suicidal ideation. A better understanding of the mechanisms that link them to suicidal ideation is needed in order to develop effective prevention and intervention initiatives. Subjective wellbeing is a potential mechanism that has not been studied within this framework. The present study examined whether subjective wellbeing could serve as a mediator or moderator of the relationship between bullying or cyberbullying and suicidal ideation, and whether these relationships were moderated by gender. Participants were 1664 students aged 14 to 19 (M = 16.12; SD = 1.36), 53% female, from 34 secondary schools in Spain. Self-reported questionnaires were used to assess bullying, cyberbullying via the Internet, cyberbullying via the mobile phone, suicidal ideation, and subjective wellbeing. Results showed that the effects of all types of bullying on suicidal ideation were mediated by subjective wellbeing, and that these mediations were gender dependent for bullying and cyberbullying-mobile phone. However, neither subjective wellbeing nor gender moderated the relationship between bullying or cyberbullying and suicidal ideation. Findings support the development of prevention strategies to reduce bullying, cyberbullying and suicidal ideation in adolescents by taking subjective wellbeing and gender into account.
... Cyberbullying, the use of technology to repeatedly and deliberately threaten, insult, harass, or tease, is a worldwide phenomenon (Ang, 2016;Låftman, Modin, & Östberg, 2013;Rice et al., 2015). Prevalence estimates range from 10% to 40% (Gámez-Guadix, Gini, & Calvete, 2015;Garaigordobil, 2015;Genta et al., 2012;Kowalski, Giumetti, Schroeder, & Lattanner, 2014). Yet, in Latin America, its prevalence is largely unknown (Shaeffer et al., 2007). ...
Article
Cyberbullying is a worldwide phenomenon and its effects can be severe. To better understand the personal and situational factors in cyberbullying, we approach it from the perspective of the general aggression model. More specifically, we analyze the medium and long-term impact of past experiences of cyberbullying on university students. We also compare their psychological adjustment with peers who have not been cyberbullied by examining the recall of cyberbullying while attending secondary school of 1,593 university students. Participants from a Spanish University (N = 680) and a Bolivian University (N = 913) were invited to participate by filling in an online survey. It included the School Violence Questionnaire-Revised, CUVE-R, to assess school and classroom climate in relation to bullying and cyberbullying, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Results show that among the participants, 5.1% reported having suffered cyberbullying and 19.3% reported having been a bystander of cyberbullying, with similar percentages between universities. Canonical correlation suggests that variables related to school climate best explain the variability among participants who have and have not been cyberbullied. Those who have been cyberbullied scored significantly higher on anxiety and depression symptoms as well. Being a bystander of cyberbullying was not associated to significant differences on psychological adjustment (i.e., anxiety and depression). Results indicated that experiencing cyberbullying in secondary school is associated to lower psychological adjustment years later as university students. School climate variables contribute more strongly to identifying victims of cyberbullying. These results support the need for psychosocial interventions from a broader perspective, addressing the different dimensions of this phenomenon and its impact on victims.
... The seven items on victimization behaviours (e.g., "Someone has posted online my embarrassing photos or videos", "Someone threatened me by using SMS") showed to have a good internal consistency, where the Cronbach alpha was a ¼ 0.76. The rate of cyberbullying victimization items was scored on a five-point scale (No, One or two times, Two or three times per month, One time a week, More time a week), and the responses " it has only happened once or twice" was defined as being "occasional" while "two or three times a month" or more frequently was defined as being "severe" (Brighi, Guarini, Palermiti, Bartolo, & Genta, 2011;Genta et al., 2012). -Seven items about the relationships with parents about Internet use (e.g., "Do your parents give you a time limit that you can spend on Internet?", ...
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The value neutrality of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) affords users the luxury of determining the gratification to be derived from technological devices usage, whether positive or adverse. The outbreak of menaces such as cyberbullying, which is an adverse externality of tech-nology's value neutrality, has necessitated the development of country-specific laws, established to address cyberbullying. While acknowledging the roles of these antibullying policies and other multidisciplinary control measures, either recommended or already in use, this study investigated the prevalence of cyberbullying in Nigeria and its control measures, through a review of studies that had been conducted in Nigeria. From the review, it was noted that most of the available studies were conducted in educational silos and focused on legal and psychological control models without recourse to the socio and techno-cultural context of cyberbullying as a derivative of information society. This article, within the context of information society, recommends media and information literacy education as a tool for addressing cyberbullying.