Special Issue "Cyber-Aggression among Adolescents and Psychological Wellbeing"

Special Issue Editors

Dr. José Carlos Núñez Pérez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Psychology, University of Oviedo, 33003, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain
Interests: bullying, cyber-aggression, and predictors of cyber-aggression; aggressive behavior; psychological wellbeing; eudaimonic wellbeing; coping strategies; learning disabilities; self-regulated learning; academic engagement; academic procrastination; homework; multilevel analysis; student dropout
Dr. David Álvarez-García
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Psychology, University of Oviedo, 33003, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain
Interests: aggressive behavior; school violence; bullying; cyber-aggression; cyber-victimization; social networks; prevalence; predictors; risk factors; protective factors; impact on well-being; assessment; prevention; childhood; adolescence

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays, there is growing concern about cyber-aggression among adolescents and its (personal, family, and social) consequences, especially in this particularly vulnerable age group. Families, schools, healthcare professionals, and social workers are all trying to understand and find responses to this problem. Despite the recent advances in this field, the mechanisms by which cyber-aggression in adolescents can have significant negative effects on those involved have not been sufficiently researched. The early research in this regard nevertheless suggests that it is not only the victims, but also the aggressors and witnesses, and even their families, who may suffer the negative consequences of this dreadful experience.

This Special Issue aims to offer the reader a multidisciplinary, up-to-date view of the consequences of adolescent cyber-aggression on the psychological wellbeing of those involved, as well as the mechanisms by which those consequences occur. These consequences and mechanisms may be examined by various disciplines such as psychology, psychiatry, healthcare sciences, criminology, sociology, and related areas. Therefore, we invite all researchers who work on this topic to present high-quality, relevant, scientific studies on this subject for this Special Issue. Empirical studies are especially welcome, however systematic reviews and meta-analyses are also acceptable.

Dr. José Carlos Núñez
Dr. Mª Carmen Pérez-Fuentes
Dr. David Álvarez-García
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • adolescence
  • bullying
  • cyber-aggression
  • psychological wellbeing
  • cyber-victimization
  • antisocial behavior
  • impulsivity
  • internet
  • protective and risk factors

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Coping with Cybervictimization: The Role of Direct Confrontation and Resilience on Adolescent Wellbeing
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(24), 4893; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16244893 - 04 Dec 2019
Abstract
Background. Recent studies have consistently identified the negative consequences of cyberbullying on adolescent mental health. Nevertheless, not all cybervictims are alike, and in the last few years some evidence has appeared indicating that faced with cyberbullying, victims may manifest different emotional outcomes. In [...] Read more.
Background. Recent studies have consistently identified the negative consequences of cyberbullying on adolescent mental health. Nevertheless, not all cybervictims are alike, and in the last few years some evidence has appeared indicating that faced with cyberbullying, victims may manifest different emotional outcomes. In this study, we explored whether cybervictim resilience fully or partially mediates the effects of cybervictimization and whether a confrontational coping strategy impacts emotional symptoms. Methods. The study was carried out with a sample of 474 high school students equally distributed between males and females. Data were collected using a questionnaire comprising four measures assessing cybervictimization, direct confrontation coping strategy, resilience and emotional symptoms. Results. Structural equation modelling indicated that the effects of cybervictimization and confrontational coping strategy on emotional symptoms were mediated by resilience, with cybervictimization showing a positive effect while direct confrontation a negative effect. Cybervictimization also showed a positive direct effect on emotional symptoms. Conclusions. These results are presented in light of their implications for designing effective interventions able to protect and promote adolescents’ psychological wellbeing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Aggression among Adolescents and Psychological Wellbeing)
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Open AccessArticle
Emotional Intelligence, Bullying, and Cyberbullying in Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4837; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234837 - 02 Dec 2019
Abstract
Bullying and cyberbullying are important global issues with negative consequences for physical and mental health in education. The objective of this study was to analyze to what extent some dimensions of emotional intelligence predict certain manifestations of bullying and cyberbullying in adolescents. The [...] Read more.
Bullying and cyberbullying are important global issues with negative consequences for physical and mental health in education. The objective of this study was to analyze to what extent some dimensions of emotional intelligence predict certain manifestations of bullying and cyberbullying in adolescents. The total number of subjects recruited in compulsory secondary education schools, was 309 (53.1% female). Their ages ranged from 12 to 16 (M = 14.17, SD = 1.4). The used instruments were the school violence questionnaire and the emotional coefficient inventory; the study design was cross-sectional. Results showed that the score increases on some scales (adaptability, stress management, and interpersonal) involved a greater risk of increasing the likelihood of social perception the different manifestations of school violence. However, in the general mood, the increase in this variable score implied lower perceiving in likelihood of violent behavior. It is important to take into account preventive actions aimed at improving school life and, above all, to alleviate difficulties in managing stress, adaptability, and interpersonal relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Aggression among Adolescents and Psychological Wellbeing)
Open AccessArticle
Self-Expressive Creativity in the Adolescent Digital Domain: Personality, Self-Esteem, and Emotions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4527; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224527 - 15 Nov 2019
Abstract
Background: Although self-expressive creativity is related to cyberbullying, it can also reinforce strengths that contribute to positive adolescent development. Our study concentrated on the relationships between personality traits and self-expressive creativity in the digital domain in an adolescent population. For this, we analyzed [...] Read more.
Background: Although self-expressive creativity is related to cyberbullying, it can also reinforce strengths that contribute to positive adolescent development. Our study concentrated on the relationships between personality traits and self-expressive creativity in the digital domain in an adolescent population. For this, we analyzed the effect of self-esteem and emotional intelligence as assets for positive development related to personality traits and self-expressive creativity. Methods: The study population included a total of 742 adolescents that were high-school students in the province of Almería, Spain. The following instruments were used: Big Five Inventory (BFI) to evaluate the five broad personality factors, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE), Expression, Management, and Emotion Recognition Evaluation Scale (TMMS-24), and the Creative Behavior Questionnaire: Digital (CBQD). Results: The cluster analysis revealed the existence of two profiles of adolescents based on their personality traits. The analysis showed that the group with the highest levels of extraversion and openness to experience and lowest levels of neuroticism were those who showed the highest scores in self-esteem, clarity, and emotional repair, as well as in self-expressive creativity. Higher scores in neuroticism and lower scores in extraversion and openness to experience showed a direct negative effect on self-expressive creativity and indirect effect through self-esteem and emotional attention, which acted as mediators in series. Conclusions: To counteract certain characteristics that increase adolescents’ vulnerability to social network bullying, a plan must be developed for adequate positive use of the Internet from a creative model that enables digital self-expression for acquiring identity and self-efficacy through the positive influence of peers, which promotes feelings of empowerment and self-affirmation through constructive tasks that reinforce self-esteem and emotional intelligence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Aggression among Adolescents and Psychological Wellbeing)
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Open AccessArticle
Associations between Witnessing and Perpetrating Online Hate in Eight Countries: The Buffering Effects of Problem-Focused Coping
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 3992; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16203992 - 18 Oct 2019
Abstract
Online hate is a topic that has received considerable interest lately, as online hate represents a risk to self-determination and peaceful coexistence in societies around the globe. However, not much is known about the explanations for adolescents posting or forwarding hateful online material [...] Read more.
Online hate is a topic that has received considerable interest lately, as online hate represents a risk to self-determination and peaceful coexistence in societies around the globe. However, not much is known about the explanations for adolescents posting or forwarding hateful online material or how adolescents cope with this newly emerging online risk. Thus, we sought to better understand the relationship between a bystander to and perpetrator of online hate, and the moderating effects of problem-focused coping strategies (e.g., assertive, technical coping) within this relationship. Self-report questionnaires on witnessing and committing online hate and assertive and technical coping were completed by 6829 adolescents between 12 and 18 years of age from eight countries. The results showed that increases in witnessing online hate were positively related to being a perpetrator of online hate. Assertive and technical coping strategies were negatively related with perpetrating online hate. Bystanders of online hate reported fewer instances of perpetrating online hate when they reported higher levels of assertive and technical coping strategies, and more frequent instances of perpetrating online hate when they reported lower levels of assertive and technical coping strategies. In conclusion, our findings suggest that, if effective, prevention and intervention programs that target online hate should consider educating young people about problem-focused coping strategies, self-assertiveness, and media skills. Implications for future research are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Aggression among Adolescents and Psychological Wellbeing)
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Open AccessArticle
Does Parental Mediation of Technology Use Moderate the Associations between Cyber Aggression Involvement and Substance Use? A Three-Year Longitudinal Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2425; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132425 - 08 Jul 2019
Abstract
The goal of this three-year longitudinal study was to examine the buffering effect of parental mediation of adolescents’ technology use (i.e., restrictive, co-viewing, and instructive) on the relationships among cyber aggression involvement and substance use (i.e., alcohol use, marijuana use, cigarette smoking, and [...] Read more.
The goal of this three-year longitudinal study was to examine the buffering effect of parental mediation of adolescents’ technology use (i.e., restrictive, co-viewing, and instructive) on the relationships among cyber aggression involvement and substance use (i.e., alcohol use, marijuana use, cigarette smoking, and non-marijuana illicit drug use). Overall, 867 (Mage = 13.67, age range from 13–15 years, 51% female, 49% White) 8th grade adolescents from the Midwestern United States participated in this study during the 6th grade (Wave 1), 7th grade (Wave 2), and 8th grade (Wave 3). Results revealed that higher levels of Wave 2 instructive mediation weakened the association between Wave 1 cyber victimization and Wave 3 alcohol use and Wave 3 non-marijuana illicit drug use. The relationship was stronger between Wave 1 cyber victimization and Wave 3 alcohol use and Wave 3 non-marijuana illicit drug use when adolescents reported lower levels of Wave 2 instructive mediation. At lower levels of Wave 2 instructive mediation, the association between Wave 1 cyber aggression perpetration and Wave 3 non-marijuana illicit drug use was stronger. Implications of these findings are discussed in the context of parents recognizing their role in helping to mitigate the negative consequences associated with adolescents’ cyber aggression involvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Aggression among Adolescents and Psychological Wellbeing)
Open AccessArticle
Associations between Profiles of Self-Esteem and Achievement Goals and the Protection of Self-Worth in University Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(12), 2218; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16122218 - 23 Jun 2019
Abstract
The high demands of academia and the fear of failure lead some university students to prioritize defending their personal worth through the use of complex strategies such as self-handicapping or defensive pessimism. Adopting a person-centered approach, this study established two objectives: First, to [...] Read more.
The high demands of academia and the fear of failure lead some university students to prioritize defending their personal worth through the use of complex strategies such as self-handicapping or defensive pessimism. Adopting a person-centered approach, this study established two objectives: First, to analyze the conformation of different motivational profiles based on the combination of self-esteem and achievement goals (learning, performance approach, and performance avoidance); and second, to determine if the identified profiles differ from one another in the use of self-handicapping and defensive pessimism. A total of 1028 university students participated in the research. Four motivational profiles were obtained: (a) High self-esteem, low learning goals, high performance approach goals, and high performance avoidance goals; (b) high self-esteem, high learning goals, low performance approach goals, and low performance avoidance goals; (c) low self-esteem, low learning goals, high performance approach goals, and high performance avoidance goals; and (d) low self-esteem, high learning goals, high performance approach goals, and medium performance avoidance goals. Profiles (c) and (d) were significantly related to self-handicapping and defensive pessimism, respectively. These results suggest that students with low self-esteem are more vulnerable to self-protection strategies. Additionally, under self-handicapping and defensive pessimism, the achievement goals are slightly different. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Aggression among Adolescents and Psychological Wellbeing)
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