Vol. 13 No. 2 (2022): MEDIA EDUCATION - Studi, ricerche e buone pratiche
Articles

Drivers of cyberbullying and cybervictimization during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings from an online survey during the first lockdown

Lorenzo Giuseppe Zaffaroni
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Davide Cino
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Kira Thiel
Leibniz Institute for Media Research, Hans-Bredow-Institut
Claudia Lampert
Leibniz Institute for Media Research, Hans-Bredow-Institut
Published November 8, 2022
Keywords
  • children online,
  • cyberbullying,
  • cybervictimization,
  • COVID-19 pandemic,
  • online risks

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has confronted families, and especially children, with significant social and psychological challenges. The lockdown was accompanied by a substantial expansion of digital and social media use and an increased probability of coming into contact with different kinds of online risks. Focusing on cyberbullying, we report on findings from an online survey to investigate the extent to which children aged 10-18 (n = 1.541) experienced cyberbullying and cybervictimization during the first lockdown in Italy and Germany. Looking at the role of different variables through two binary logistic regressions, results indicate that the most consistent predictor in both forms of bullying experiences was children’s emotional distress. No statistically significant country differences emerged. Finally, the implications and limitations of this work are discussed.