Cyberbullying experiences on-the-go: When social media can become distressing

Vol.7,No.1(2013)
Special issue: Children in cyberspace: Opportunities, risks and safety

Abstract
The current study examines the differences between those who have been cyberbullied online and on mobile devices (on-the-go) and those who have been cyberbullied online but not on mobile devices. Additionally, country differences in cyberbullying on-the-go are explored. Analyses were carried out employing a random stratified sample of 25,142 children aged 9-16 from 25 European countries. A multilevel stepwise logistic regression with cyberbullying mode (online and mobile phone vs. online only) as the dependent variable showed that among online bully victims being cyberbullied on-the-go was less likely in Bulgaria and Denmark and more likely in Sweden when compared to the odds across all countries. Moreover, being cyberbullied on-the-go was associated with being older, female and using the internet on-the-go (step 1), higher sensation seeking, psychological difficulties and being more upset by the experience (step 2) as well as a higher likelihood of being bullied via social networking sites (SNS) and instant messages (IM) but not the range of cyberbullying types experienced (step 3). In this last step of the analysis being upset by the experience as well as psychological difficulties ceased to be related to the mode of cyberbullying suggesting that cyberbullying experiences on SNS and IM are potential mechanisms by which cyberbullying on-the-go is experienced as more distressing.

Keywords:
cyberbullying; bullying; adolescence; aggression; social networking
Author biographies

Anke Görzig

Author photo Anke Görzig is Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) as well as Honorary Senior Research Associate at University College London (UCL). She was the Survey Research Officer of the EU Kids Online II project. Anke received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Mannheim and has extensive experience in quantitative research in the social sciences.

Lara A. Frumkin

Author photo Lara Frumkin is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of East London. She received her BS, MA and PhD in Psychology in the USA. Lara has previously worked at the American Psychological Association, the US Justice Department, Middlesex University and the Institute of Education.
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