Childhood Emotional Trauma and Cyberbullying Perpetration Among Emerging Adults: A Multiple Mediation Model of the Role of Problematic Social Media Use and Psychopathology

Kagan Kircaburun, Zsolt Demetrovics, Orsolya Király, Mark D. Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research suggests that a small minority of social media users experience problems as a result of their online use. The purpose of the present study was to examine the association of cyberbullying perpetration and problematic social media use with childhood emotional trauma, Cluster B (narcissistic, histrionic, antisocial, and borderline) personality traits, dissociative experiences (DEs), depression, and self-esteem in a nonclinical undergraduate sample. A total of 344 university students volunteered to complete a questionnaire that included measures on the aforementioned dimensions. Thirty-eight percent of the participants had emotional neglect and 27% had emotional abuse, while 44% of them demonstrated at least one cyberbullying perpetration behavior. Results indicated that cyberbullying perpetrators had higher scores on problematic social media use, dissociative experiences, Cluster B traits, depression and childhood emotional trauma, and lower on self-esteem. Path analysis demonstrated that, while adjusting for gender and age, childhood emotional trauma was directly and indirectly associated with cyberbullying perpetration via Cluster B traits. Moreover, depression and dissociation were directly associated with problematic social media use. The findings of this study emphasize the important direct role of childhood emotional trauma and pathological personality traits on cyberbullying perpetration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-566
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2020

Keywords

  • Childhood trauma
  • Cyberbullying
  • Depression
  • Dissociation
  • Personality
  • Problematic social media use
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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