Several criteria have been proposed for defining cyberbullying to young people, but no studies have proved their relevance. There are also variations across different countries in the meaning and the definition of this behavior. We systematically investigated the role of five definitional criteria for cyberbullying, in six European countries. These criteria (intentionality, imbalance of power, repetition, anonymity, and public vs. private) were combined through a set of 32 scenarios, covering a range of four types of behaviors (written-verbal, visual, exclusion, and impersonation). For each scenario, participants were asked whether it was cyberbullying or not. A randomized version of the questionnaire was shown to 295 Italian, 610 Spanish, 365 German, 320 Sweden, 336 Estonian, and 331 French adolescents aged 11-17 years. Results from multidimensional scaling across country and type of behavior suggested a clear first dimension characterized by imbalance of power and a clear second dimension characterized by intentionality and, at a lower level, by anonymity. In terms of differences across types of behaviors, descriptive frequencies showed a more ambiguous role for exclusion as a form of cyberbullying, but general support was given to the relevance of the two dimensions across all the types of behavior. In terms of country differences, French participants more often perceived the scenarios as cyberbullying as compared with those in other countries, but general support was found for the relevance of the two dimensions across countries.
El bullying es un fenómeno de agresión injustificada que actualmente sucede en dos formatos: cara a cara y como una conducta que se realiza a través de dispositivos digitales (cyberbullying). Ampliamente estudiado tanto el primero como el segundo, hay sin embargo escaso conocimiento sobre la homogeneidad de ambos problemas y no disponemos de instrumentos de medida que permitan valorar las dos dimensiones del fenómeno: la agresión y la ciberagresión, la victimización y la cibervictimización. Este trabajo presenta la validación del European Bullying Intervention Project Questionnaire y del European Cyberbullying Intervention Project Questionnaire, que evalúan la implicación en bullying y en cyberbullying, respectivamente. Ambos se han administrado a 792 estudiantes de secundaria y se han obtenido unos buenos resultados de ajuste y propiedades psicométricas. La realización de un modelo de ecuaciones estructurales ha evaluado la concurrencia y relaciones entre ambos fenómenos, encontrando la influencia del bullying sobre el cyberbullying, pero no al contrario. Estos resultados muestran la idoneidad de ambos instrumentos para evaluar de forma conjunta bullying y cyberbullying, dada su importante relación y similitud, lo que los convierten en buenas herramientas para la intervención psicoeducativa destinada a prevenir y reducir ambos fenómenos.
Research on cyberbullying started at the beginning of the 21 st century and the number of studies on the topic is increasing very rapidly. Nevertheless, the criteria used to define the phenomenon and evaluation strategies are still under debate. Therefore, it is still difficult to compare the findings among the studies or to describe their prevalence in different geographic areas or time points. Thus, the current systematic review has been conducted with the objective of describing the studies on the phenomenon in Spain taking into account its different definitions and evaluation strategies in relation to its prevalence. After conducting systematic searches and applying the inclusion criteria, 29 articles reporting the results of 21 different studies were included. It was found that the number of studies on the topic in Spain is growing and that most of the definitions include the criteria of repetition, intention, and power imbalance. It was also found that timeframes and cutoff points varied greatly among the studies. All the studies used selfreports with one-item or multi-item instruments. The prevalence also varied depending on the evaluation strategies and when assessed with multi-item instruments it was about twice as high as when assessed with one-item instruments. It is suggested that specific instruments should be chosen depending on the research questions posed in each investigation and that it could be useful to unify the criteria for further advancement of the field.
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