Problematic Online Behaviors among Adolescents and Emerging Adults: Associations between Cyberbullying Perpetration, Problematic Social Media Use, and Psychosocial Factors

Kagan Kırcaburun, Constantinos M. Kokkinos, Zsolt Demetrovics, Orsolya Király, Mark D. Griffiths, Tuğba Seda Çolak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Over the past two decades, young people’s engagement in online activities has grown markedly. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between two specific online behaviors (i.e., cyberbullying perpetration, problematic social media use) and their relationships with social connectedness, belongingness, depression, and self-esteem among high school and university students. Data were collected from two different study groups via two questionnaires that included the Cyberbullying Offending Scale, Social Media Use Questionnaire, Social Connectedness Scale, General Belongingness Scale, Short Depression-Happiness Scale, and Single Item Self-Esteem Scale. Study 1 comprised 804 high school students (48% female; mean age 16.20 years). Study 2 comprised 760 university students (60% female; mean age 21.48 years). Results indicated that problematic social media use and cyberbullying perpetration (which was stronger among high school students) were directly associated with each other. Belongingness (directly) and social connectedness (indirectly) were both associated with cyberbullying perpetration and problematic social media use. Path analysis demonstrated that while age was a significant direct predictor of problematic social media use and cyberbullying perpetration among university students, it was not significant among high school students. In both samples, depression was a direct predictor of problematic social media use and an indirect predictor of cyberbullying perpetration. However, majority of these associations were relatively weak. The present study significantly adds to the emerging body of literature concerning the associations between problematic social media use and cyberbullying perpetration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)891-908
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2019

Keywords

  • Belongingness
  • Cyberbullying perpetration
  • Depression
  • Problematic social media use
  • Self-esteem
  • Social connectedness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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