Cyberbullying from a socio-ecological perspective: a contemporary synthesis of findings from EU Kids Online

Görzig, Anke ORCID: and Machackova, Hana (2015) Cyberbullying from a socio-ecological perspective: a contemporary synthesis of findings from EU Kids Online. Working Paper. Media@LSE, London.

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Involvement in bullying has been shown to result from a complex interplay between individuals and their wider social environment. Consequently, an approach using Bronfenbrenner's classic socio-ecological theory as a starting point has been successfully applied in the research of bullying. The aim of the present paper was to apply this perspective in the context of cyberbullying research; specifically, to review the findings from data of EU Kids Online, a representative sample of 25,142 internet-using European youth aged 9-16 years. Research outputs on cyberbullying using the EU Kids Online data were accumulated. With the young person at the centre, factors associated with cyberbullying were considered at different levels of the socio-ecological system: the individual, the social environment, and the cultural level. The results for each level were reviewed and synthesised differentiating cyberbullying risk experiences (i.e., victimisation and perpetration) and responses to cyberbullying victimisation (i.e., coping and harm). Results revealed differential patterns of cyberbullying risk, harm, and coping highlighting particularly vulnerable groups (e.g., being a girl, having psychological difficulties, social disadvantage) as well as resilience factors (e.g., sensation seeking, self-efficacy, internet use, social support). Victimisation and perpetration were shown to often co-occur while some factors were particularly associated with perpetration (e.g., online activities, digital skills, internet ability beliefs). Cyberbullying experiences showed strong associations with offline bullying and other type of risk experiences and behaviours (online and offline). Most of the findings focused on victimisation and factors on the individual level. These findings were largely consistent with previous findings using data on a regional level. However, some unique contributions were made explaining cross-national differences in prevalence by cultural level factors (e.g., attitudes towards equality, crime rates) as well as revealing cultural variation in the associations of individual level factors (e.g., gender, psychological difficulties, self-efficacy). These findings can be useful for the further development of prevention and intervention strategies. Integrated strategies across different types of risks, offline and online, are suggested while simultaneously targeting these towards specific populations taking into account individual, social and cultural background. Despite some important cultural variations, the findings appear to suggest that the phenomenon of cyberbullying is generally universal. Future research is needed to clarify cultural variations using theoretical driven analyses.

Item Type: Report (Working Paper)
Subjects: Education
Social sciences > Communication and culture
Social sciences
Depositing User: Anke Görzig
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2015 13:23
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:06

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