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Cyberbullying victimisation in context: the role of social inequalities in countries and regions

Görzig, Anke, Milosevic, Tijana and Staksrud, Elisabeth (2017) Cyberbullying victimisation in context: the role of social inequalities in countries and regions. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 48 (8). pp. 1198-1215. ISSN 0022-0221

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0022022116686186


The phenomenon of cyberbullying is gaining ever more attention by media and policy makers in many countries. Theoretical frameworks using a socio-ecological approach emphasise the importance of contextual explanatory factors located at the societal level. It has been suggested that in addition to cross-national differences, the analysis of smaller units of more adjacent cultural contexts (i.e., regions) might yield more explanatory power. Leaning on previous findings and theory, the current paper aims to identify and compare contextual explanatory factors associated with social inequality (i.e., crime rates, GDP, life expectancy and population density) for variation in cyber- and face-to-face bullying victimisation rates within one sample. Moreover, corresponding explanatory factors are investigated across national and regional levels. Cyber- and face-to-face bullying victimisation of 15,813 9-16 year olds (50% female) from the cross-national survey data of EU Kids Online were linked with contextual variables of 18 countries and 179 regions obtained from data of the European Social Survey (ESS). Hierarchical multilevel-modelling analyses, adding first regional and then country level contextual predictors for bullying victimisation, were performed. Against expectations, differences for cyber- and face-to-face victimisation between regions within countries were smaller than differences between countries. Regional level life expectancy showed a negative and crime rates showed a marginal positive relation with both cyber- and face-to-face victimisation. Population density showed a negative and GDP a positive relationship with cyber- but not face-to-face victimisation. Adding the same predictors on the country level did not improve model fit. Possible research and policy implications are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2017 12:47
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2023 21:33
Projects: SIP-KEP-321803
Funders: EC (DG Information Society) Safer Internet Programme

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