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.
Authors: Jessica Schütz, Neele Schipper, Ute Koglin
Title: Bullying in school and cyberbullying among adolescents without and with special educational needs in emotional–social development and in learning in Germany
Journal: Psychology in the Schools
Abstract: Bullying in school and cyberbullying are highly relevant issues. Students with special educational needs in emotional–social development and learning show individual characteristics that could be risk factors for bullying perpetration and victimization (e.g., externalizing behavior problems or poor social skills). Therefore, the present study was carried out to explore differences in school bullying and cyberbullying between adolescents without and with the aforementioned special educational needs. A cross-sectional questionnaire study was carried out with N = 649 (Mage = 13.66, SD = 2.17, 61% boys and 39% girls) participants from Lower Saxony (Germany). Analyses of covariance only revealed differences regarding school bullying. Adolescents with special educational needs in emotional–social development were significantly more often bullying perpetrators. For the victim role, there are no differences between the groups without and with special educational needs in emotional–social development and in learning. The externalizing behavior problems of adolescents were considered to be the main predictor of bullying behavior and victim experiences. To imply targeted bullying interventions and preventions further research is needed focusing on characteristics, risk, and protective factors of special educational needs in emotional–social development.
Authors: Jan Philipp Czakert, Julia Reif, Sharon Glazer, and Rita Berger
Title: Adaptation and Psychometric Cross-Cultural Validation of a Workplace Cyberbullying Questionnaire in Spain and Germany
Journal: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Abstract: As nonessential workers are working from home and connected to colleagues through means of computer technology, cyberbullying, which has only recently been investigated in workplace settings, is likely to become more prevalent. Organizations are also reconsidering work structures that would keep workers remote. Workplace cyberbullying (WCB) can have a detrimental impact on victims’ mental health, more than traditional face-to-face bullying. However, there is a dearth of validated assessments to monitor WCB for use in different countries. The Cyberbullying Behavior Questionnaire Short version (CBQ-S) from Jönsson et al. is a validated short scale that seems simple and practical enough to integrate in widely applied multiscale employee surveys. Previously, the CBQ-S has been only validated in Sweden (in the Swedish language) and United States (in English). This study performs a construct validation of the CBQ-S in Spain (in Spanish) and Germany (in German), to equip businesses and organizations operating in those countries with an effective valid tool to measure WCB. Two hundred nine German and 249 Spanish workers (N = 458) participated in a cross-sectional survey. Exploratory and multiple-group confirmatory factor analyses suggested a one-dimensional structure of the scale, supporting configural invariance; metric and partial scalar invariance was also supported. Latent means differences revealed significantly higher mean scores for the Spanish sample (Cohen’s d = 0.61). WCB correlated positively with workplace bullying, supporting concurrent convergent validity. WCB also correlated positively with role conflict, role ambiguity, bullying in general, stress, turnover intention, and negatively with job satisfaction, indicating criterion validity.
Authors: Saskia M. Fischer, Nancy John, Wolfgang Melzer, Anne Kaman, Kristina Winter, and Ludwig Bilz
Title: Traditional bullying and cyberbullying among children and adolescents in Germany – Cross-sectional results of the 2017/18 HBSC study and trends
Journal: National Library of Medicine
Abstract: Bullying is a specific form of violence that can potentially lead to numerous and long-term negative health implications. Despite consistent coverage in the media, particularly on cyberbullying, as of yet there are only few representative findings on the frequency of (cyber)bullying in Germany. This article analyses how widespread bullying and cyberbullying were at schools in Germany in 2018, what differences exist between girls and boys, age groups and various types of schools, and changes in bullying trends between 2002 and 2018. Our findings are based on an analysis of the data provided by the 2017/18 cycle (N=4,347 students, 53.0% female) and previous cycles of the German Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study. In the 2018 cycle, boys reported having bullied other children more frequently than girls, but were bullied just as often. 15-year-olds reported having bullied other children more frequently than 11- to- 13-year-olds but reported being bullied less frequently. Students at grammar schools (Gymnasium) least frequently reported any involvement in bullying. Only few children and adolescents reported cases of cyberbullying. Compared to all previous survey years, 2018 saw the lowest number of children that reported having bullied others. However, reports of having been bullied have remained almost stable. The findings highlight the need for evidence-based prevention and intervention anti-bullying programmes and measures across all types of general education schools and age groups.
Authors: Wachs, S., Vazsonyi, A.T., Wright, M.F., Ksinan Jiskrova, G.
Title: Cross-National Associations Among Cyberbullying Victimization, Self-Esteem, and Internet Addiction: Direct and Indirect Effects of Alexithymia
Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
Abstract: The relationship among cyberbullying victimization, lower self-esteem, and internet addiction has been well-established. Yet, little research exists that explains the nature of these associations, and no previous work has considered the inability to identify or describe one’s emotions, namely, alexithymia, as a potential mediator of these links. The present study sought to investigate the indirect effects of cyberbullying victimization on self-esteem and internet addiction, mediated by alexithymia. The sample consisted of 1,442 participants between 12 and 17 years (Mage = 14.17, SD = 1.38, 51.5% male) from Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States. Results showed a direct relationship between cyberbullying victimization and self-esteem and an indirect association mediated by alexithymia in the Dutch sample. However, in the German and U.S. samples, only an indirect relationship via alexithymia, but not a direct effect of cyberbullying victimization on self-esteem, was found. Consistent across the three country samples, cyberbullying victimization and internet addiction were directly and also indirectly associated via alexithymia. In sum, findings indicate that alexithymia might help better understand which detrimental effects cyberbullying victimization has on adolescent psychological health. Thus, cyberbullying prevention programs should consider implementing elements that educate adolescents on the ability to identify and describe their own emotions.
Authors: Theodoros N. Sergentanis, Sofia D. Bampalitsa, Paraskevi Theofilou, Eleni Panagouli, Elpis Vlachopapadopoulou, Stefanos Michalacos, Alexandros Gryparis, Loretta Thomaidis, Theodora Psaltopoulou, Maria Tsolia, Flora Bacopoulou, and Artemis Tsitsika
Title: Cyberbullying and Obesity in Adolescents: Prevalence and Associations in Seven European Countries of the EU NET ADB Survey
Journal: Childhood and Adolescent Obesity and Weight Management
Abstract: Background: overweight and obese individuals may often face aggressive messages or comments on the internet. This study attempts to evaluate the association between cyberbullying victimization and overweight/obesity in adolescents participating in the European Network for Addictive Behavior (EU NET ADB) survey. Methods: a school-based cross-sectional study of adolescents aged 14–17.9 years was conducted (n = 8785) within the EU NET ADB survey, including data from seven European countries (Germany, Greece, Iceland, the Netherlands, Romania, Poland, Spain). Complex samples and univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed. Results: overall, overweight adolescents were more likely to have been cyberbullied compared to their normal weight peers (adjusted OR (Odds ratio) = 1.20, CI (confidence intervals): 1.01–1.42); this association was pronounced in Germany (adjusted OR = 1.58, CI: 1.11–2.25). In Iceland, obese adolescents reported cyberbullying victimization more frequently compared to their normal weight peers (adjusted OR = 2.87, 95% CI: 1.00–8.19). No significant associations with cyberbullying victimization were identified either for obese or overweight adolescents in Greece, Spain, Romania, Poland, and the Netherlands. Conclusions: this study reveals an overall association between cyberbullying victimization and overweight on the basis of a sizable, representative sample of adolescent population from seven European countries. Country-specific differences might reflect differential behavioral perceptions, but also normalization aspects.
Authors: Görzig, A., Bedrosova, M., Machackova, H.
Title: Do stereotypes of mental and developmental disorders predict bystander intentions in cyberbullying? An application of the stereotype content model
Journal: International Journal of Developmental Science
Abstract: It was investigated whether different types of mental or developmental disorders (MDD) would be rated differently in terms of stereotypic perceptions and behavioral tendencies and whether these effects of stereotypes on behaviors would be mediated via emotional responses in line with the stereotype content model (SCM). Furthermore, an experimental investigation sought to ascertain whether predictions about behavioral intentions of bystanders in a cyberbullying scenario towards a victim with MDD could be derived from the general behavioral tendencies as predicted by the SCM. Two-hundred-forty-eight undergraduate students (62% female) aged 18-35 (M=22.5) were randomly allocated to one of five conditions (anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, Asperger’s or control). Stereotypes, emotional and behavioral responses as well as bystander intentions were assessed. Results largely confirmed the general application of the SCM to MDD; however, this was not the case for bystander intentions in cyberbullying. Implications for the application of the SCM and methodological considerations are discussed.
Authors: Daneback, K., Bjereld, Y., Macháčková, H., Ševčíková, A., Dědková, L.
Title: Bullied Online but Not Telling Anyone: What Are the Reasons for Not Disclosing Cybervictimization?
Journal: Studia paedagogica
Abstract: Although telling an adult can be effective at ending bullying, not all bullied children tell someone about their victimization. The aim of the current study was to examine: 1) if being bullied online and not telling anyone was associated with the perceived intensity and harm experienced from being bullied, 2) the reasons for not telling anyone, and 3) if these reasons were related to the level of harm experienced from being bullied. The data used in this study consisted of responses from 451 Czech adolescents aged 12–18 who had been cyberbullied. The results showed that more boys (47%) than girls (19%) did not tell anyone about being bullied online. There was an association between experienced harm and cybervictimization disclosure; 42% of adolescents with little experience of harm did not tell anyone about it, which was more often than the case for those adolescents with a medium level of harm (19%), and those with intense harm (19%). The reasons for not telling differed among groups, where intensely harmed adolescents more often reported that they did not trust anyone and were afraid of making the situation worse and respondents with medium harm reported to a greater extent not having anyone who could help them. The most common answer for adolescents with a low experience of harm was that they did not tell anyone because they thought they would manage on their own (54%).
Author(s): Machackova, H., & Pfetsch, J.
Title: Bystanders’ responses to offline bullying and cyberbullying: The role of empathy and normative beliefs about aggression.
Journal: Scandinavian journal of psychology
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.
Author(s): Chaux, E., Velásquez, A. M., Schultze‐Krumbholz, A., & Scheithauer, H.
Title: Effects of the cyberbullying prevention program media heroes (Medienhelden) on traditional bullying.
Journal: Aggressive behavior
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.
Author(s): Festl, R.
Title: Perpetrators on the internet: Analyzing individual and structural explanation factors of cyberbullying in school context.
Journal: Computers in Human Behavior
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
Author(s): Schultze-Krumbholz, A., Göbel, K., Scheithauer, H., Brighi, A., Guarini, A., Tsorbatzoudis, H., … & Casas, J. A.
Title: A comparison of classification approaches for cyberbullying and traditional bullying using data from six European countries.
Journal: Journal of School Violence
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.
Author(s): Pieschl, S., Kuhlmann, C., & Porsch, T.
Title: Beware of publicity! Perceived distress of negative cyber incidents and implications for defining cyberbullying.
Journal: Journal of School Violence
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
Author(s): Festl, R., Scharkow, M., & Quandt, T.
Title: The individual or the group: a multilevel analysis of cyberbullying in school classes.
Journal: Human Communication Research
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.
Author(s): Del Rey, R., Casas, J. A., Ortega-Ruiz, R., Schultze-Krumbholz, A., Scheithauer, H., Smith, P., … & Guarini, A.
Title: Structural validation and cross-cultural robustness of the European Cyberbullying Intervention Project Questionnaire.
Journal: Computers in Human Behavior
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.
Author(s): Wölfer, R., Schultze-krumbholz, A., Zagorscak, P., Jäkel, A., Göbel, K., & Scheithauer, H.
Title: Prevention 2.0: Targeting cyberbullying @ school
Journal: Prevention Science
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.
Author(s): Wachs, S.
Title: Moral disengagement and emotional and social difficulties in bullying and cyberbullying: Differences by participant role.
Journal: Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
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.
Author(s): Schultze-Krumbholz, A., Jäkel, A., Schultze, M., & Scheithauer, H.
Title: Emotional and behavioural problems in the context of cyberbullying: A longitudinal study among German adolescents.
Journal: Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
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.
Author(s): Nocentini, A., Calmaestra, J., Schultze-Krumbholz, A., Scheithauer, H., Ortega, R., & Menesini, E.
Title: Cyberbullying: Labels, behaviours and definition in three European countries.
Journal: Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling
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.
Author(s): Jäger, T., Amado, J., Matos, A., & Pessoa, T.
Title: Analysis of Experts’ and Trainers’ Views on Cyberbullying.
Journal: Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling
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.