Cyberbullying and traditional bullying in adolescence : Differential roles of moral disengagement, moral emotions, and moral values

Pädagogische Hochschule Thurgau
Perren, Sonja; Gutzwiller-Helfenfinger, Eveline

The aim of this study was to investigate whether different aspects of morality predict traditional bullying and cyberbullying behaviour in a similar way. Students between 12 and 19 years participated in an online study. They reported on the frequency of different traditional and cyberbullying behaviours andcompleted self-report measures on moral emotions and moral values. A scenario approach with open questions was used to assess morally disengaged justifications. Tobit regressions indicated that a lack of moral values and a lack of remorse predicted both traditional and cyberbullying behaviour. Traditional bullying was strongly predictive for cyberbullying. A lack of moral emotions and moral values predicted cyberbullying behaviour even when controlling for traditional bullying. Morally disengaged justifications were only predictive for traditional, but not for cyberbullying behaviour. The findings show that moral standards and moral affect are important to understand individual differences in engagement in both traditional and cyberforms of bullying.


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