Traditional and Cyber Bullying/Victimization Among Adolescents: Examining Their Psychosocial Profile Through Latent Profile Analysis
SourceInternational Journal of Bullying Prevention
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Although increasingly more studies investigate the relationship of cyber and traditional bullying/victimization, it is unclear whether the phenomena are distinct. The purpose of this study was to investigate the roles that Greek Junior High school students engage in cyber and traditional bullying/victimization incidents, as well as the psychosocial and emotional profiles of the students that are classified into each participant role. Overall, 1097 Greek Junior High school students (mean age = 13.95, 51% girls) completed a self-report questionnaire about cyber and traditional bullying/victimization, empathy, psychopathic traits, online disinhibition, social skills, social anxiety, and peer relations. Latent profile analysis indicated four distinct groups of participants (“uninvolved,” “bullies,” “victims,” “bully/victims”). ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis analyses showed that “uninvolved” students had the most adaptive profile (low scores in psychopathic traits and online disinhibition and high in social skills), while students who frequently bullied both online and offline (“bullies”) were the least functional of the sample (e.g., high scores in psychopathic traits and low in empathy and social skills) and differed on several characteristics from those classified as “bully/victims.” Finally, victims had a poor psychosocial profile (e.g., high social anxiety and poor social relations). These findings confirm that cyber aggression is part of a general bullying/victimization pattern and that students are most effectively classified based on their behavior and not the context of manifestation. Findings can contribute to the ongoing debate on the similarities/differences of cyber and traditional bullying/victimization, as well as their simultaneous occurrence.