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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 2, 2014

Who bullies whom online: A social network analysis of cyberbullying in a school context

  • Denis Wegge EMAIL logo , Heidi Vandebosch and Steven Eggermont
From the journal Communications


Young adolescents’ online bullying behavior has raised a significant amount of academic attention. Nevertheless, little is known about the social context in which such negative actions occur. The present paper addresses this issue and examines how the patterns of traditional bullying and cyberbullying are related, and how electronic forms of bullying can be linked to the social context at school. To address these questions, social network analysis was applied to examine the networks of social interactions and (cyber)bullying among an entire grade of 1,458 thirteen- to fourteen-year-old pupils. The results show that (1) cyberbullying is an extension of traditional bullying as victims often face the same perpetrators offline and online, (2) there is evidence of mutual cyberbullying among youngsters, and (3) cyberbullying is more likely to occur in same-gender and same-class students. The implications for future research and prevention of cyberbullying are discussed.

Published Online: 2014-11-2
Published in Print: 2014-11-1

©2014 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin Munich Boston

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