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Associations between bystander reactions to cyberbullying and victims’ emotional experiences and mental health

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Abstract
Bystanders in cyberbullying may play a crucial role in reducing cyberbullying's harm for victims. This study assessed bystander responses, and the associations with adolescent victims' emotional reactions to cyberbullying and victims' mental health outcomes (symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress; suicidal ideation). A total of 1037 adolescents (49.8 percent female, mean age = 15.17 years) participated in the cross-sectional study and filled out an anonymous questionnaire. Victimization was measured with a single-item scale (cybervictims) and a multiple-item scale with cyberbullying examples (youth experiencing offensive practices). Associations of positive (e.g., defending) and negative (e.g., ignoring) bystander responses with victims' emotions (8 types of emotions rated on 5-point Likert scale) were assessed through correlations; and with victims' mental health outcomes (Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale [DASS-21], single item for suicidal ideation) using regression analyses, adjusting for the influence of gender and coping styles (KIDCOPE). Cybervictims (single-item scale) showed more victimization experiences, and more negative emotional and mental health outcomes than youth only experiencing offensive practices. Negative bystander responses predicted some mental health outcomes among cybervictims, but not among youth only experiencing offensive practices. Positive bystander behavior did not predict any mental health outcome. There is a clear need for cyberbullying prevention programs to include components that target bystander responses, to alleviate victims' emotional and mental health harm after cyberbullying. Attention is needed to create effective programs to reduce negative bystander behavior, while most current programs are focused on positive bystander behavior.
Keywords
cyberbullying, adolescent, mental health, bystander, emotion, OF-THE-LITERATURE, COPING STRATEGIES, DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS, PEER VICTIMIZATION, RISK-FACTORS, ADOLESCENTS, BEHAVIOR, SCHOOL, CHILDREN, INVOLVEMENT

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MLA
DeSmet, Ann, et al. “Associations between Bystander Reactions to Cyberbullying and Victims’ Emotional Experiences and Mental Health.” CYBERPSYCHOLOGY BEHAVIOR AND SOCIAL NETWORKING, vol. 22, no. 10, 2019, pp. 648–56, doi:10.1089/CYBER.2019.0031.
APA
DeSmet, A., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Walrave, M., & Vandebosch, H. (2019). Associations between bystander reactions to cyberbullying and victims’ emotional experiences and mental health. CYBERPSYCHOLOGY BEHAVIOR AND SOCIAL NETWORKING, 22(10), 648–656. https://doi.org/10.1089/CYBER.2019.0031
Chicago author-date
DeSmet, Ann, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Michel Walrave, and Heidi Vandebosch. 2019. “Associations between Bystander Reactions to Cyberbullying and Victims’ Emotional Experiences and Mental Health.” CYBERPSYCHOLOGY BEHAVIOR AND SOCIAL NETWORKING 22 (10): 648–56. https://doi.org/10.1089/CYBER.2019.0031.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
DeSmet, Ann, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Michel Walrave, and Heidi Vandebosch. 2019. “Associations between Bystander Reactions to Cyberbullying and Victims’ Emotional Experiences and Mental Health.” CYBERPSYCHOLOGY BEHAVIOR AND SOCIAL NETWORKING 22 (10): 648–656. doi:10.1089/CYBER.2019.0031.
Vancouver
1.
DeSmet A, De Bourdeaudhuij I, Walrave M, Vandebosch H. Associations between bystander reactions to cyberbullying and victims’ emotional experiences and mental health. CYBERPSYCHOLOGY BEHAVIOR AND SOCIAL NETWORKING. 2019;22(10):648–56.
IEEE
[1]
A. DeSmet, I. De Bourdeaudhuij, M. Walrave, and H. Vandebosch, “Associations between bystander reactions to cyberbullying and victims’ emotional experiences and mental health,” CYBERPSYCHOLOGY BEHAVIOR AND SOCIAL NETWORKING, vol. 22, no. 10, pp. 648–656, 2019.
@article{8628887,
  abstract     = {Bystanders in cyberbullying may play a crucial role in reducing cyberbullying's harm for victims. This study assessed bystander responses, and the associations with adolescent victims' emotional reactions to cyberbullying and victims' mental health outcomes (symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress; suicidal ideation). A total of 1037 adolescents (49.8 percent female, mean age = 15.17 years) participated in the cross-sectional study and filled out an anonymous questionnaire. Victimization was measured with a single-item scale (cybervictims) and a multiple-item scale with cyberbullying examples (youth experiencing offensive practices). Associations of positive (e.g., defending) and negative (e.g., ignoring) bystander responses with victims' emotions (8 types of emotions rated on 5-point Likert scale) were assessed through correlations; and with victims' mental health outcomes (Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale [DASS-21], single item for suicidal ideation) using regression analyses, adjusting for the influence of gender and coping styles (KIDCOPE). Cybervictims (single-item scale) showed more victimization experiences, and more negative emotional and mental health outcomes than youth only experiencing offensive practices. Negative bystander responses predicted some mental health outcomes among cybervictims, but not among youth only experiencing offensive practices. Positive bystander behavior did not predict any mental health outcome. There is a clear need for cyberbullying prevention programs to include components that target bystander responses, to alleviate victims' emotional and mental health harm after cyberbullying. Attention is needed to create effective programs to reduce negative bystander behavior, while most current programs are focused on positive bystander behavior.},
  author       = {DeSmet, Ann and De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse and Walrave, Michel and Vandebosch, Heidi},
  issn         = {2152-2715},
  journal      = {CYBERPSYCHOLOGY BEHAVIOR AND SOCIAL NETWORKING},
  keywords     = {cyberbullying,adolescent,mental health,bystander,emotion,OF-THE-LITERATURE,COPING STRATEGIES,DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS,PEER VICTIMIZATION,RISK-FACTORS,ADOLESCENTS,BEHAVIOR,SCHOOL,CHILDREN,INVOLVEMENT},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {10},
  pages        = {648--656},
  title        = {Associations between bystander reactions to cyberbullying and victims’ emotional experiences and mental health},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/CYBER.2019.0031},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2019},
}

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