Current Psychology

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 1162–1173 | Cite as

The relationship between the big five and cyberbullying among college students: the mediating effect of moral disengagement

  • Yuhong Zhou
  • Weixi Zheng
  • Xuemei GaoEmail author


The present study examined the prevalence of cyberbullying and the mediating effect of moral disengagement in the relationship between the Big Five personality traits and cyberbullying. We recruited 655 undergraduates to complete the NEO Five-Factor Inventory, Moral Disengagement Scale, and Cyberbullying Questionnaire. The results revealed: (1) significant gender differences in cyberbullying, with males reporting more cyberbullying than females in all three dimensions: perpetration, victimization, and bystander behavior; (2) agreeableness was negatively related to engaging in perpetration, victimization, and bystander behavior, whereas neuroticism was only positively related to bystander behavior; and (3) moral disengagement played a partially mediating role in the relationship between neuroticism and bystander behavior, as well as the relationship between agreeableness and bystander behavior. Moreover, moral disengagement played a totally mediating role in the relationship between agreeableness and engagement in perpetration, as well as the relationship between agreeableness and involvement in victimization.


College students Big five personality Cyberbullying Moral disengagement 



This study was funded by the National social Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 14XSH013), The 13th Five-Year Plan for Education Science of Chongqing (Grant No. 2016-GX-086).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

This research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. Author Z declares that she has no conflict of interest. Author Z declares that she has no conflict of interest. Author G declares that she has no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of PsychologySouthwest UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality, Ministry of EducationSouthwest UniversityChongqingChina
  3. 3.High School Affiliated to Southwest UniversityChongqingChina

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