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Cyberbullying: Predicting Victimisation and Perpetration


Correspondence to: Michel Walrave, Associate Professor of Communication & ICT with the Department of Communication Studies, Research Group MIOS (Media & ICT in Organisations & Society), University of Antwerp, Belgium, Tel.: +32 (0)3 275 56 81; E-mail:


The double-edged nature of modern technology, continuously balancing between risks and opportunities, manifests itself clearly in an emerging societal problem known as cyberbullying. To analyse the extent and nature of the issue in Belgium, 1318 adolescents were questioned explicitly about their involvement in cyberbullying, as well as implicitly about their experience with specific types of cyberbullying-related behaviour. This alternate questioning revealed higher victimisation and perpetration rates. The study also provides better insight into predictors associated with victimisation or perpetration in cyberbullying. Especially past involvement in cyberbullying and engaging in online risk behaviour increase the likelihood of victimisation; non-rejection of cyberbullying and online identity experimentation augment the likelihood of perpetration. Girls are more likely to become victims of cyberbullying, whereas boys are more inclined to engage in electronic bullying. Moreover, the incidence of cyberbullying increases slightly with age. Finally, teens spending much time on the Internet, reporting higher ICT expertise and owning a computer with privileged online access share an increased likelihood of online bullying behaviour.