Traditional Bullying and Cyberbullying among Adolescents: Patterns and Correlates of Victimization vs. Perpetration



Zhang, Lijing

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Traditional bullying and cyberbullying are serious global public health concerns. Based on a national sample of 2,439 students from 30 public middle schools between the ages of 10 and 14 (M = 11.7 years) in the United States, we investigated patterns and predictors of four types of bullying (physical, verbal, social, and cyber) including both bullying victimization and perpetration. We also examined how demographic variables and several psychosocial risk and protective factors would be related to bullying victimization and perpetration. Overall, findings indicated that bullying victimization and perpetration were widespread, with verbal bullying the most frequent type of bullying both in terms of victimization and perpetration, and cyberbullying the least frequently reported. Boys were more likely to engage in physical bullying perpetration, while girls were more likely to report being victimized by relational (verbal and social) bullying. Findings indicated that knowing how to respond to bullying and acting in appropriate ways to bullying, or bullying prevention skills, were associated with less bullying perpetration. However, we found that conflict resolution skills were not associated with many forms of bullying. While the study included a large sample and measured multiple forms of bullying, limitations were the cross-sectional design which limited the ability to examine direction of causality. Future research should examine samples containing students from diverse communities and countries, assessing in greater detail the contexts in which bullying occur. This can help us understand how factors that place students at relative disadvantage interact with the environments in which students are bullied.



Traditional and cyber bullying, Victimization, Risk and protective factors, Adolescents, Perpetration