Friday, 4 January 2013

Social Relations and Cyberbullying: The Influence of Individual and Structural Attributes on Victimization and Perpetration via the Internet

an article by Ruth Festl (University Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany) and Thorsten Quandt (University of Münster, Germany) published in Human Communication Research Volume 39 Issue 1 (January 2013)


Current research indicates that an alarming number of students are affected by cyberbullying.

However, most of the empirical research has focused on psychological explanations of the phenomenon.

In an explorative survey study based on the reconstruction of 2 complete school networks (NP = 408), we expand the explanation strategies of cyberbullying to higher levels of social abstraction.

Using statistical and structural analysis, and visual inspection of network environments, we compare explanations on individual and structural levels.

In line with previous research, the findings support traditional explanations via sociodemographic and personality factors.

However, the findings also reveal network positioning to be a comparably strong predictor for cyberbullying.

Therefore, we argue that without taking structural factors into account, individual explanations will remain insufficient.

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