Sociocultural values, attitudes and risk factors associated with adolescent cyberbullying in East Asia: A systematic review



Cyberbullying amongst adolescents is a rapidly growing and alarming global phenomenon that can significantly harm their well-being. Studying cyberbullying in East Asia is especially important, where peer pressure based on collectivistic ideals and rigid cultural scripts for social interactions remain strong. Furthermore, the countries represented in this review are amongst the top globally for internet usage, suggesting that adolescents in East Asia are likely to be excessive users of social media communication and be more exposed to various forms of cyberbullying. This systematic review summarizes findings from peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on cyberbullying amongst adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19 in East Asian countries (N = 21). SCOPUS, Google Scholar, and PsycINFO databases were searched for relevant work published between 2008 and 2020. Search strategies involved using keywords related to cyberbullying, adolescents, East Asia, and the name of each country represented in the region (China, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan). Key factors associated with cyberbullying specific to adolescents in this region are identified and discussed in this review, such as gender socialization patterns and literacy with digital media communication, emphasis on academic achievement and school factors, urban-rural digital divide, relationship with parents and teachers, and collectivistic values. The present review highlights the need to pay further attention to the sociocultural context in future cyberbullying research and calls for more context-specific cyberbullying prevention programs and awareness initiatives.

Cyberbullying, East Asia, collectivistic values, gender socialization, academic performance, adolescents
Author biographies

Miriam Sang-Ah Park

Department of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University

Karen Jennifer Golden

Department of Psychology, Monash University Malaysia

Samuel Vizcaino-Vickers

Nottingham Trent University

Dung Jidong

Nottingham Trent University

Sanjana Raj

Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia


Studies included in the systematic review are identified by an asterisk.

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