Differences in predictors of traditional and cyber-bullying: a 2-year longitudinal study in Korean school children

Abstract

Traditional bullying has received considerable research but the emerging phenomenon of cyber-bullying much less so. Our study aims to investigate environmental and psychological factors associated with traditional and cyber-bullying. In a school-based 2-year prospective survey, information was collected on 1,344 children aged 10 including bullying behavior/experience, depression, anxiety, coping strategies, self-esteem, and psychopathology. Parents reported demographic data, general health, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. These were investigated in relation to traditional and cyber-bullying perpetration and victimization at age 12. Male gender and depressive symptoms were associated with all types of bullying behavior and experience. Living with a single parent was associated with perpetration of traditional bullying while higher ADHD symptoms were associated with victimization from this. Lower academic achievement and lower self esteem were associated with cyber-bullying perpetration and victimization, and anxiety symptoms with cyber-bullying perpetration. After adjustment, previous bullying perpetration was associated with victimization from cyber-bullying but not other outcomes. Cyber-bullying has differences in predictors from traditional bullying and intervention programmes need to take these into consideration.

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Acknowledgments

We are very grateful to all the families who participated in this study and the school personnel who supported to work. This work has been funded by a grand of the Korea Health 21 R&D, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (A050047). The Ministry of Health and Welfare had no role in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the paper for publications. RS is part-funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London.

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The authors have no competing interest to declare.

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Correspondence to Su-Jin Yang.

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Yang, SJ., Stewart, R., Kim, JM. et al. Differences in predictors of traditional and cyber-bullying: a 2-year longitudinal study in Korean school children. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 22, 309–318 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-012-0374-6

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Keywords

  • Cyber-bullying
  • Bullying
  • Depression
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Longitudinal study