Here is the research we’ve found on cyberbullying in Germany, with the most recent first. Please email us if you have any articles to add with the details ordered in the same format as the others.


Author(s): Machackova, H., & Pfetsch, J.

Year: 2016

Title: Bystanders’ responses to offline bullying and cyberbullying: The role of empathy and normative beliefs about aggression.

Journal: Scandinavian journal of psychology

URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26946454

Abstract: Cyberbullying often takes place with the virtual presence or knowledge of bystanders. While we have some evidence about the determinants of bystanders’ responses to offline bullying, we lack empirical studies concerning the variables that influence bystanders’ responses to cyberbullying. The current study examines bystanders’ responses to offline bullying and cyberbullying incidents. Two types of responses were captured: support toward the victims and the reinforcement of bullies’ actions. Using data from 321 German adolescents (ages 12–18; M = 14.99; 44% girls), the association between bystanders’ responses and normative beliefs about verbal aggression and cyberaggression, and affective and cognitive empathy, were tested in a path model. Both types of normative beliefs positively predicted the reinforcement of bullies, and normative belief about verbal aggression also predicted support for the victims of offline bullying. Both types of empathy predicted support in offline bullying, but only affective empathy predicted support in cyberbullying. There was no link between affective or cognitive empathy to the reinforcement of bullies. Moreover, bystanders’ tendencies to respond supportively to the victim or to reinforce the bully were rather consistent in both cyber- and offline bullying, but there was no link between support and reinforcement. The findings are discussed with regard to implications for prevention and intervention efforts.

Citation: Machackova, H., & Pfetsch, J. (2016). Bystanders’ responses to offline bullying and cyberbullying: The role of empathy and normative beliefs about aggression. Scandinavian journal of psychology, 57(2), 169-176.


Author(s): Chaux, E., Velásquez, A. M., Schultze‐Krumbholz, A., & Scheithauer, H.

Year: 2016

Title: Effects of the cyberbullying prevention program media heroes (Medienhelden) on traditional bullying.

Journal: Aggressive behavior

URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26879895

Abstract: There is considerable debate over whether cyberbullying is just another form of bullying, or whether it is a problem distinct enough to require specific intervention. One way to explore this issue is to analyze whether programs designed to prevent traditional bullying help prevent cyberbullying, and whether programs designed to prevent cyberbullying prevent traditional bullying. The main goal of the current study was to analyze the spillover effects of the cyberbullying prevention program Media Heroes (Medienhelden) on traditional bullying. Media Heroes promotes empathy, knowledge of risks and consequences, and strategies that allow bystanders to defend victims from cyberbullying. Mixed ANOVAs were conducted comparing pretest and post-test (6 months after intervention) measures of 722 students (ages 11–17) assigned to a long (15 sessions) intervention, a short (1 day) intervention, and a control group. In addition to confirming the previously reported effects on cyberbullying, Media Heroes was found to reduce traditional bullying. Effects were larger for the long-version of the program than for the short 1-day version. No effects were found on victimization by either cyberbullying or traditional bullying. Strategies to complement traditional and cyberbullying prevention efforts are discussed.

Citation: Chaux, E., Velásquez, A. M., Schultze‐Krumbholz, A., & Scheithauer, H. (2016). Effects of the cyberbullying prevention program media heroes (Medienhelden) on traditional bullying. Aggressive behavior, 42(2), 157-165.


Author(s): Festl, R.

Year: 2016

Title: Perpetrators on the internet: Analyzing individual and structural explanation factors of cyberbullying in school context.

Journal: Computers in Human Behavior

URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563216300693

Abstract: Although research on cyberbullying has grown rapidly in the last years, holistic explanation approaches are still rare. In a first step, the present study discusses a theoretically derived, integrative model explaining a cyberbullies behavior referring to individual and structural influencing factors. This model was empirically tested among a sample of 1428 German high school pupils within a two-wave panel survey. Additionally, it was investigated whether the explanation patterns vary depending on the particular audience reached by the cyberbullying behavior. The results showed that technical resources enhanced the perpetration mediated via higher levels of perceived behavioral control. In contrast, social resources and norms also directly favored the perpetration of cyberbullying, however, only if this was witnessed by a certain audience. It is assumed that there is a group of cyberbullies who use the behavior as an instrumental strategy in order to reach socially motivated goals

Citation: Festl, R. (2016). Perpetrators on the internet: Analyzing individual and structural explanation factors of cyberbullying in school context. Computers in Human Behavior, 59, 237-248.


Author(s): Schultze-Krumbholz, A., Göbel, K., Scheithauer, H., Brighi, A., Guarini, A., Tsorbatzoudis, H., … & Casas, J. A.

Year: 2015

Title: A comparison of classification approaches for cyberbullying and traditional bullying using data from six European countries.

Journal: Journal of School Violence

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15388220.2014.961070

Abstract: In recently published studies on cyberbullying, students are frequently categorized into distinct (cyber)bully and (cyber)victim clusters based on theoretical assumptions and arbitrary cut-off scores adapted from traditional bullying research. The present study identified involvement classes empirically using latent class analysis (LCA), to compare the classification of cyber- and traditional bullying and to compare LCA and the conventional approach. Participants were 6,260 students (M = 14.8 years, SD = 1.6; 49.1% male) from six European countries. LCA resulted in three classes for cyberbullying and four classes for traditional bullying. Cyber- and traditional bullying differed from each other, as did LCA and the conventional approach. Country, age, and gender differences were found. Implications for the field of traditional and cyberbullying research are discussed.

Citation: Schultze-Krumbholz, A., Göbel, K., Scheithauer, H., Brighi, A., Guarini, A., Tsorbatzoudis, H., … & Casas, J. A. (2015). A comparison of classification approaches for cyberbullying and traditional bullying using data from six European countries. Journal of School Violence, 14(1), 47-65.


Author(s): Pieschl, S., Kuhlmann, C., & Porsch, T.

Year: 2015

Title: Beware of publicity! Perceived distress of negative cyber incidents and implications for defining cyberbullying.

Journal: Journal of School Violence

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15388220.2014.971364

Abstract: Cyberbullying is usually defined by utilizing offline criteria for bullying (repetition, power imbalance, intent to harm). However, this ignores the potential relevance of cyber-specific factors (publicity, medium, type [i.e., denigration]). We compared six factors, each with multiple attributes, with respect to associated socioemotional distress, measured directly (Study 1: N = 58 Ecuadorian adolescents) and by applying adaptive conjoint analyses (Study 2: N = 131 German adolescents; Study 3: N = 82 German young adults). Results indicated that type, publicity, and repetition were most relevant for distress, and that attributes differed significantly in terms of perceived distress. For example, public incidents were perceived to be more distressing than semipublic or private ones. Furthermore, regarding most factors, previous cyber-perpetrators reported lower levels of distress than cyber-nonperpetrators. Implications for defining cyberbullying are discussed

Citation: Pieschl, S., Kuhlmann, C., & Porsch, T. (2015). Beware of publicity! Perceived distress of negative cyber incidents and implications for defining cyberbullying. Journal of School Violence, 14(1), 111-132.


Author(s): Festl, R., Scharkow, M., & Quandt, T.

Year: 2015

Title: The individual or the group: a multilevel analysis of cyberbullying in school classes.

Journal: Human Communication Research

URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/hcre.12056/abstract

Abstract: In this study, we focus on the relevance of social influence to explain cyberbullying experiences among German high school students. Social influence is discussed in the context of computer-mediated communication. To obtain individual and sociostructural data, we conducted a survey study among German high school students (N = 4,282). Using multilevel modeling, we found that the attributes of the school class only contributed to the risk of being involved in cyberbullying to a small extent. Still, procyberbullying norms in class did enhance the risk of perpetration and victimization for students, even more so than their individual beliefs. Previous experiences with bullying and intensive, unrestricted use of the Internet were the strongest individual predictors of cyberbullying involvement.

Citation: Festl, R., Scharkow, M., & Quandt, T. (2015). The individual or the group: a multilevel analysis of cyberbullying in school classes. Human Communication Research, 41(4), 535-556.


Author(s): Del Rey, R., Casas, J. A., Ortega-Ruiz, R., Schultze-Krumbholz, A., Scheithauer, H., Smith, P., … & Guarini, A.

Year: 2015

Title: Structural validation and cross-cultural robustness of the European Cyberbullying Intervention Project Questionnaire.

Journal: Computers in Human Behavior

URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563215002630

Abstract: During the last decade, cyberbullying has become an increasing concern which has been addressed by diverse theoretical and methodological approaches. As a result there is a debate about its nature and rigorously validated assessment instruments have not yet been validated. In this context, in the present study an instrument composed of 22 items representing the different types of behaviours and actions that define cyberbullying has been structurally validated and its cross-cultural robustness has been calculated for the two main dimensions: cyber-victimization and cyber-aggression. To this end, 5679 secondary school students from six European countries (Spain, Germany, Italy, Poland, United Kingdom, and Greece) were surveyed through this self-report questionnaire which was designed based on previously existing instruments and the most relevant conceptual elements. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted and the global internal consistency was computed for the instrument and its two dimensions. Identical factor structures were found across all of the six subsamples. The results contribute to existing research by providing an instrument, the European Cyberbullying Intervention Project Questionnaire, which has been structurally validated in a wide sample from six different countries and that is useful to evaluate psycho-educative interventions against cyberbullying.

Citation: Del Rey, R., Casas, J. A., Ortega-Ruiz, R., Schultze-Krumbholz, A., Scheithauer, H., Smith, P., … & Guarini, A. (2015). Structural validation and cross-cultural robustness of the European Cyberbullying Intervention Project Questionnaire. Computers in Human Behavior, 50, 141-147.


Author(s): Wölfer, R., Schultze-krumbholz, A., Zagorscak, P., Jäkel, A., Göbel, K., & Scheithauer, H.

Year: 2014

Title: Prevention 2.0: Targeting cyberbullying @ school

Journal: Prevention Science

URL: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11121-013-0438-y

Abstract:  Although cyberbullying is characterized by worrying prevalence rates and associated with a broad range of detrimental consequences, there is a lack of scientifically based and evaluated preventive strategies. Therefore, the present study introduces a theory-based cyberbullying prevention program (Media Heroes; German original: Medienhelden) and evaluates its effectiveness. In a pretest-posttest design (9-month interval), schools were asked to randomly assign their participating classes to either control or intervention group. Longitudinal data were available from 593 middle school students (M ^sub Age^=13.3 years, 53 % girls) out of 35 classes, who provided information on cyberbullying behavior as well as socio-demographic and psychosocial variables. While the present results revealed worrying prevalence rates of cyberbullying in middle school, multilevel analyses clearly demonstrate the program’s effectiveness in reducing cyberbullying behavior within intervention classes in contrast to classes of the control group. Hence, this study presents a promising program which evidentially prevents cyberbullying in schools.

Citation: Wölfer, R., Schultze-krumbholz, A., Zagorscak, P., Jäkel, A., Göbel, K., & Scheithauer, H. (2014). Prevention 2.0: Targeting cyberbullying @ school. Prevention Science, 15(6), 879-887.


Author(s): Wachs, S.

Year: 2012

Title: Moral disengagement and emotional and social difficulties in bullying and cyberbullying: Differences by participant role.

Journal: Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13632752.2012.704318

Abstract: Participant roles in traditional bullying have been well researched, and the social and emotional characteristics identified with each role are clearly documented. However, little is known about the participant roles in cyberbullying and the degree to which these correspond to traditional bullying roles. This study aims to investigate similarities and differences between participant roles in traditional bullying and cyberbullying, in terms of moral disengagement and social and emotional characteristics. In total, 517 German students in grades 5-10 were assessed for bullying involvement using the Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) method. Cyberbullying was slightly less frequent than traditional bullying, although there was considerable overlap, with many students involved in cyberbullying also participating in traditional bullying. More cyberbullies had a bad conscience compared to traditional bullies, hence students involved in cyberbullying showed greater moral disengagement. High school satisfaction emerged as a protective factor for nearly all roles, while feeling lonely, feeling unpopular and being friendless appeared as risk factors for (cyber)victimisation. The enhancement of empathy by (cyber)bullies and (cyber)assistants for their targets, and the development of a positive school culture, are proposed as key aspects for both anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying prevention and intervention.

Citation: Wachs, S. (2012). Moral disengagement and emotional and social difficulties in bullying and cyberbullying: Differences by participant role. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 17(3-4), 347-360.


Author(s): Schultze-Krumbholz, A., Jäkel, A., Schultze, M., & Scheithauer, H.

Year: 2012

Title: Emotional and behavioural problems in the context of cyberbullying: A longitudinal study among German adolescents.

Journal: Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13632752.2012.704317

Abstract: Although many studies have reported on internalising and externalising problems related to cyberbullying roles, there is a lack of longitudinal research in this area. This study reports (1) cross-sectional data from 412 German middle-school students to examine differences between cyberbullies, cybervictims and cyberbully–victims compared to non-involved students in regard to internalising (depressiveness and loneliness) and externalising (instrumental and reactive aggression) problems; and (2) longitudinal data from 223 students about links of cyberbullying and cybervictimisation with internalising and externalising problems across two measurement occasions, analysed using path analysis (separately by gender). Self-report measures were used. The results revealed no significant differences between groups in internalising problems, but all three cyberbullying groups differed significantly from the non-involved group in externalising problems. Female victims showed increases in externalising problems while male victims did not show changes across time in either internalising or externalising problems. Male bullies reported decreases in internalising problems across time. For boys, scoring high in both cyberbullying and cybervictimisation led to increases in loneliness, while for girls this predicted decreases in reactive aggression.

Citation: Schultze-Krumbholz, A., Jäkel, A., Schultze, M., & Scheithauer, H. (2012). Emotional and behavioural problems in the context of cyberbullying: A longitudinal study among German adolescents. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 17(3-4), 329-345.


Author(s): Nocentini, A., Calmaestra, J., Schultze-Krumbholz, A., Scheithauer, H., Ortega, R., & Menesini, E.

Year: 2010

Title: Cyberbullying: Labels, behaviours and definition in three European countries.

Journal: Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling

URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8497647

Abstract: This study aims to examine students’ perception of the term used to label cyberbullying, the perception of different forms and behaviours (written, verbal, visual, exclusion and impersonation) and the perception of the criteria used for its definition (imbalance of power, intention, repetition, anonymity and publicity) in three different European countries: Italy, Spain and Germany. Seventy adolescents took part in nine focus groups, using the same interview guide across countries. Thematic analysis focused on three main themes related to: (1) the term used to label cyberbullying, (2) the different behaviours representing cyberbullying, (3) the three traditional criteria of intentionality, imbalance of power and repetition and the two new criteria of anonymity and publicity. Results showed that the best word to label cyberbullying is ‘cyber-mobbing’ (in Germany), ‘virtual’ or ‘cyber-bullying’ (in Italy), and ‘harassment’ or ‘harassment via Internet or mobile phone’ (in Spain). Impersonation cannot be considered wholly as cyberbullying behaviour. In order to define a cyberbullying act, adolescents need to know whether the action was done intentionally to harm the victim, the effect on the victim and the repetition of the action (this latter criterion evaluated simultaneously with the publicity). Information about the anonymity and publicity contributes to better understand the nature and the severity of the act, the potential effects on the victim and the intentionality.

Citation: Nocentini, A., Calmaestra, J., Schultze-Krumbholz, A., Scheithauer, H., Ortega, R., & Menesini, E. (2010). Cyberbullying: Labels, behaviours and definition in three European countries. Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 20(02), 129-142.


Author(s): Jäger, T., Amado, J., Matos, A., & Pessoa, T.

Year: 2010

Title: Analysis of Experts’ and Trainers’ Views on Cyberbullying.

Journal: Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling

URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8497653

Abstract: Partners from nine European countries developed a cyberbullying training manual for the benefit of trainers working with parents, school staff and young people.1 The development of the training manual built on a two-level qualitative research process that combined elements of the Delphi method and online focus groups. The two studies outlined in this article aimed to assess trainers’ and experts’ views on the problem of cyberbullying while also gathering insight in relation to their preferences in terms of a training manual. This article outlines the main outcomes of a content analysis of experts’ and trainers’ views. According to experts and trainers, the sources of cyberbullying were specifically related to new technical developments and new patterns of usage, a lack of media literacy and media education, and the lack of appropriate laws, control and reporting mechanisms. Approaches for tackling cyberbullying suggested by experts and trainers included the provision of enhanced information on ICT and e-safety, adequate rules, monitoring mechanisms and sanctions. Furthermore a range of approaches targeting children and young people, parents and other adults, schools as well as approaches run by authorities and IT providers were suggested. In terms of the elements and style of a training manual, experts and trainers emphasised that it should be practically oriented, and that elements like narratives, case examples or video clips would be vital for the implementation of training.

Citation: Jäger, T., Amado, J., Matos, A., & Pessoa, T. (2010). Analysis of Experts’ and Trainers’ Views on Cyberbullying. Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 20(02), 169-181.