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Special Issue "Cyberbullying from a Lifespan Perspective"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Mental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 5177

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Peter Smith
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths College, University of London, London SE14 6NW, UK
Interests: school bullying; cyberbullying; prevention; culture, play; grandparenting
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Jorge Varela
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Facultad de Psicología, Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago 1030000, Chile
Interests: Bullying and cyberbullying;school climate; well-being
Dr. Christopher Barlett
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA 17325, USA
Interests: cyberbullying; theory development; experimental social psychology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cyberbullying, or electronic aggression, via the internet, is a problem of the 21st century that has attracted growing concern and a great increase in research attention. Notably, much of this research has focused on school-aged populations. This is understandable, to the extent that prevalence rates of cyberbullying involvement are high in adolescence, at an age when there is great involvement in social networking sites, and where risk-taking behaviors are also prominent. In the journal, there have been a number of Special Issues on cyberbullying, and most contributions have been in reference to this age range. However, cyberbullying can be a lifespan phenomenon, and there have been some studies on this phenomenon in college-age populations, amongst adults and in the workplace.

This Special Issue in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) will focus on cyberbullying from a lifespan perspective. We welcome contributions on internet aggression generally – that is, we are not too concerned about distinctions between cyberbullying, cyber aggression, internet abuse, etc., although it is important that any empirical study make it very clear what exactly is being measured.

We are seeking to have a clear developmental perspective in this Special Issue. Contributions might be with populations outside of the school age range, for example, in colleges, workplaces, clubs, or other adult venues. Alternatively, they might be in school-aged populations, but only if developmental changes are a major part of the analysis and discussion. We will not be looking for articles on cyberbullying in school-aged children that do not have a strong developmental perspective.

Prof. Dr. Peter Smith
Prof. Jorge Varela
Dr. Christopher Barlett
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • cyberbullying
  • development
  • internet abuse
  • workplace

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Cyber-Victimization Experience among Higher Education Students: Effects of Social Support, Loneliness, and Self-Efficacy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(12), 7395; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127395 - 16 Jun 2022
Viewed by 463
Abstract
Most of the research literature on cyberbullying (CB) has focused on adolescents, but due to their intensive, unsupervised use of Information Communication Technologies (ICT), higher education students are at high risk of being involved in CB. The current study examined the nature of [...] Read more.
Most of the research literature on cyberbullying (CB) has focused on adolescents, but due to their intensive, unsupervised use of Information Communication Technologies (ICT), higher education students are at high risk of being involved in CB. The current study examined the nature of CB among 1004 higher education students. In addition, we explored the relationships between cyber-victimization, social support, loneliness, and self-efficacy. For that purpose, we applied a path analysis model (PA) to explain the effect of each variable on the cyber-victimization experience, expecting that high levels of loneliness and low levels of self-efficacy will predict cyber-victimization, but might be moderated and reduced by high levels of social support. Results revealed that social support moderated the relationships between these socio-emotional variables and cyber-victimization, and might serve as a protective factor. These findings on young adults may contribute to the understanding of the nature of cyber-victimization throughout the life cycle. Nowadays, academic institutions are facing an uphill effort in trying to restrain online misbehavior. In view of the findings, higher education policy could help facilitate coping with CB through student support and focused intervention programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyberbullying from a Lifespan Perspective)
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Article
Victims of Cyberbullying: Feeling Loneliness and Depression among Youth and Adult Chileans during the Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(10), 5886; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19105886 - 12 May 2022
Viewed by 770
Abstract
In Chile, during the COVID-19 pandemic, reports of cyberbullying victimization increased for adolescents and younger adults. Research has shown that cyber-victims—adolescents and young adults alike—are at greater risk for mental health problems such as depression as a result of this negative type of [...] Read more.
In Chile, during the COVID-19 pandemic, reports of cyberbullying victimization increased for adolescents and younger adults. Research has shown that cyber-victims—adolescents and young adults alike—are at greater risk for mental health problems such as depression as a result of this negative type of aggression. Yet, a paucity of research has examined the individual mechanisms germane to cyber-victim depression. We focused on loneliness for the current study. We hypothesized that cyber-victimization would be positively related to depressive symptoms through increased fears of loneliness and that this effect would differ between adolescents and younger adults. Thus, we examined a sample of 2370 participants from all main regions of Chile aged from 15 to 29 years. Moderated mediation results showed a negative effect of cyberbullying on depression, which was mediated by increased fears of being alone. The effect of frequency of cyberbullying on fear of loneliness was stronger for younger adults compared to adolescents. Our results suggest different mechanisms for both age groups, which can inform prevention programs and their specific activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyberbullying from a Lifespan Perspective)
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Article
The Response of Social Crime Prevention Police to Cyberbullying Perpetrated by Youth in Rural Areas of South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13421; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413421 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1134
Abstract
Recently, South Africa has seen a surge in violence, cyberbullying by learners against peers, and online malicious acts against teachers. In response, the South African Department of Basic Education invited the social crime prevention police to intervene. This study reports on the developmental [...] Read more.
Recently, South Africa has seen a surge in violence, cyberbullying by learners against peers, and online malicious acts against teachers. In response, the South African Department of Basic Education invited the social crime prevention police to intervene. This study reports on the developmental issues contributing to cyberbullying and the police response to this violence in rural schools. An extensive literature review was conducted, and a conceptual framework was developed to guide the study and development of a mobile application. This framework was tested using data collected from focus groups, 8 police officers, 9 teachers, 52 grade-10 learners, and 27 grade-12 learners. The data were analyzed using thematic and quantitative techniques. The findings reveal some developmental issues. For instance, teachers are often targeted by learners online because they fail to take prompt action when learners report cyberbullying incidents. This finding is consistent with the developmental theory which predicts that lack of support would create a permissive context for cyberbullying. In addition, the popularity of cyberbullying has a stronger influence on older, rather than younger, adolescents. Older adolescents are more concerned about gaining popularity than being socially accepted. Recommendations are made which can be useful to schools, learners, and the police force in their fight against cyberbullying. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyberbullying from a Lifespan Perspective)
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Article
Exploring Risk and Protective Factors for Cyberbullying and Their Interplay: Evidence from a Sample of South Korean College Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13415; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413415 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1230
Abstract
This study explored risk and protective factors for cyberbullying perpetration and examined whether they independently and interactively predicted cyberbullying perpetration. Based on key propositions of micro-level theories of crime and delinquency, we adopted two risk factors, cyberbullying victimization and association with cyberbullying peers, [...] Read more.
This study explored risk and protective factors for cyberbullying perpetration and examined whether they independently and interactively predicted cyberbullying perpetration. Based on key propositions of micro-level theories of crime and delinquency, we adopted two risk factors, cyberbullying victimization and association with cyberbullying peers, and two protective factors, morality and self-control. Using a sample of South Korean college students (N = 244; 112 women (45.9%), 132 men (54.1%); Mean (age) = 22), we found that the two risk factors were positively associated with cyberbullying perpetration, while only one of the two protective factors, which is morality, had a negative relationship with cyberbullying perpetration. In addition, the two protective factors partially buffered the effects of both risk factors on cyberbullying perpetration. The implications and limitations of these findings were also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyberbullying from a Lifespan Perspective)
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