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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Dec 8;14(12). pii: E1530. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14121530.

Do Emotional Components of Alexithymia Mediate the Interplay between Cyberbullying Victimization and Perpetration?

Author information

1
Department of Educational Studies, University of Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam, Germany. wachs@uni-potsdam.de.
2
Department of Health Sciences, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, 03046 Cottbus, Germany. ludwig.bilz@b-tu.de.
3
Department of Health Sciences, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, 03046 Cottbus, Germany. saskia.fischer@b-tu.de.
4
Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, PA 16802, USA. mfw5215@psu.edu.
5
Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, 60200 Brno, Czechia. mfw5215@psu.edu.

Abstract

A substantial amount of research has revealed that cyberbully-victims have more emotional and behavioral problems than either cyberbullying victims or perpetrators. However, until now, little research has been conducted into the factors that contribute to the interplay between cyberbullying victimization and perpetration. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between cyberbullying victimization, perpetration, and two emotional components of alexithymia, namely difficulties in identifying and describing one's own feelings. Self-report questions were administered to 1549 adolescents between 12 and 18 years old (M = 14.51; SD = 1.68; 42.1% (n = 652) male) from Germany and Thailand. Results showed that cyberbullying victimization and alexithymia are associated with cyberbullying perpetration. Moreover, alexithymia mediated the associations between cyberbullying victimization and adolescents' cyberbullying perpetration. Consequently, we suggest that the ability to describe and identify one's own feelings might be important for understanding the link between cyberbullying, victimization, and perpetration. The results may help develop prevention and intervention programs focused on reducing cyberbullying.

KEYWORDS:

alexithymia; cyberbully-victims; cyberbullying; cybervictimization; mediation

PMID:
29292720
PMCID:
PMC5750948
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph14121530
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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