Cyberbullying among a clinical adolescent sample in Turkey: effects of problematic smartphone use, psychiatric symptoms, and emotion regulation difficulties
Kılıç, Birim Günay
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BACKGROUND: Cyberbullying, has concerned professionals due to increased use of media over time and as predicted, this type of bullying is fairly common among adolescents. We aimed to define the prevalence of cyberbullying and cyber victimization, examine relationships between problematic smartphone (SP) use (PSU), psychiatric symptoms and emotion regulation difficulties in a clinical adolescent sample. Also, we aimed to predict risk factors of being an E-Victim and E-Bully. METHODS: One hundred and fifty adolescents have recruited the study. Demographic Information Form, Problematic Mobile Phone Usage Scale, Brief Symptom Inventory, Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, E-Victimization–E-Bullying Scale were filled out by adolescents. RESULTS: Our results indicated that the prevalence of cybervictimization and cyberbullying were 62.6% and 53.3%, respectively. BEVEB (Both E-Victim and E-Bully) group adolescents were older than NVB (Non-Victim/Bully) groups. Access internet via own SP, PSU, problems in strategies and impulse control and were significantly higher and “lack of awareness” scores were significantly lower in BEVEB group than others. In addition, when compared with OEV (only E-Victims) group, BEVEB group had also higher hostility scores. Logistic regression analysis revealed that high scores of “lack of awareness” and higher E-bullying scores increase the risk of being an E-Victim; and higher scores of hostility and E-victimization and lower scores of “lack of awareness” (in other words being more aware of feelings) increase the risk of being an E-bully. CONCLUSIONS: According to analyses, contrary to our expectations, PSU was important but not an independent predictor of being an E-Victim/E-Bully. Our results also demonstrated an interesting finding: lack of awareness is a risk factor for being an E-victim. We interpreted this result as could not be aware of feelings increase the victimization risk. On the other hand, E-Bullies have higher hostility and victimization while having lower “lack of awareness” scores. It could be speculated that, re-victimization and being aware of hostility feelings could increase the cyberbullying among adolescents. In addition being an E-Bully could be a consequence of being an E-victim and increasing hostility and awareness over time. These results should be re-examined in larger clinical samples.