The relevance of cross-national and cross-regional contexts to youth' cyber-bullying involvement

Görzig, Anke, Milosevic, Tijana and Staksrud, Elisabeth (2016) The relevance of cross-national and cross-regional contexts to youth' cyber-bullying involvement. In: ECREA Pre-Conference: Research of Children, Youth and Media around the World, 8.-9. Nov. 2016, Prague, Czech Republic. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The current paper seeks to investigate the role of regional and national level contexts to explain variations in youths’ cyber-bullying involvement. Cross-national evidence suggests that individual level differences are generally larger than the differences across countries. Hence, it has been suggested that analysis of smaller units of more adjacent cultures (i.e., regions) might yield more explanatory power than national contexts. The present study explores whether, complementary to the national level, smaller, regional level contexts might be relevant in explaining youth involvement in cyber-bullying. Leaning on findings for traditional bullying, selected socio-structural factors (i.e., population density, crime rates, GDP and life expectancy) are employed on the national and on the regional level as contextual predictors for variation in cyber-bullying victimisation rates. Furthermore, the relative contribution of cross-national and cross-regional differences to cyber-bullying victimisation is explored.
Cyber-bullying victimisation from the cross-national survey data of the EU Kids Online project was linked with contextual variables obtained from data of the European Social Survey (ESS). Contextual variables were obtained on the national level and, in order to reflect regions, levels 1 or 2 of the “European Union’s Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics” (NUTS). EU Kids Online and ESS data were linked on 18 countries and 179 NUTS regions. Hierarchical multilevel-modelling analyses adding first regional and then national level contextual predictors for cyberbullying victimisation on the individual level were performed.
Against expectations, it was shown that differences between regions accounted for a variance of only 4% and cross-national differences accounted for a variance of 7% in cyber-victimisation. Regional level life expectancy and population density showed a negative while GDP showed a positive and crime rates a marginal positive relation with cyber-victimisation. National level predictors ceased to make a significant contribution. Moreover, while regional predictors did not explain any cross-regional variation they showed to explain 36% of the cross-national differences in cyber-victimisation.
The unexpected low regional level variance might indicate that the regions as defined in this study were too large or distal to be reflected in the diversity of individuals’ victimisation responses. Smaller more communal regions or neighbourhoods should be considered in further analyses. Furthermore, regional level predictors were connected with national level differences in cyber-victimisation. A finding indicating that higher level national contexts might have an influence on lower level regional contexts, possibly due to joint practices or policies. Future studies might consider investigating specific national and regional level policies as well as differences in political structures concerning the relative power of regions within countries (i.e., federal or unitary state governments). Overall, these findings indicate that while contextual factors at both national and regional levels do not account for the majority of differences in youth’ cyber-bullying involvement, they are relevant to consider in cross-cultural investigations.

Authors’ contact information:
Anke Görzig (University of West London): anke.goerzig@uwl.ac.uk
Tijana Milosevic (University of Oslo): tijana.milosevic@media.uio.no
Elisabeth Staksrud (University of Oslo): elisabeth.staksrud@media.uio.no

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Media > New media and new media theory
Social sciences > Communication and culture
Psychology
Depositing User: Anke Goerzig
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2016 17:40
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2017 13:35
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2971

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