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Br J Dev Psychol. 2013 Mar;31(Pt 1):1-14. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-835X.2011.02066.x. Epub 2011 Oct 21.

Morality, values, traditional bullying, and cyberbullying in adolescence.

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Department of Psychology, University of Florence, Italy.


The aim of the present study was to investigate moral aspects and human values in traditional bullying and cyberbullying, in order to detect differences between the two types of bullying and to test the role of immoral and disengaged behaviours in mediating the relationships between personal values and involvement in bullying. Sample comprised 390 adolescents aged 14-18, balanced for gender, attending different high schools. Traditional and cyberbullying were detected by means of two self-report measures, while the Portrait Values Questionnaire was used to assess 10 values in four dimensions according to the value system model by Schwartz (1992): self-trascendence, self-enhancement, openness to change, and conservation. Finally, immoral and disengaged behaviours were assessed by means of five items about behavioural and personal aspects salient for morality. Results showed that, irrespective of gender, self-enhancement and self-trascendence moderately predicted cyber and traditional bullying, respectively, while immoral and disengaged behaviours predicted both. Indirect effects showed that self-enhancement and openness to change predicted both forms of bullying through immoral behaviour. Results are discussed in terms of similarities and differences between cyber and traditional bullying and with attention to the central role of morality in explaining bullying nature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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