Aggression and Victimization in Instant Messaging, Blogging, and Face-to-Face Interactions (page 2)

By and — Bullying Special Edition Contributor
Updated on Mar 9, 2012


  1. The results clearly demonstrate that a significant number of adolescents report engaging in cyberbullying. Therefore, an important implication of this study centers on the need for parental supervision of children’s online behaviors.
  2. Additionally, this study demonstrates that youth who bully others when face-to-face are also the youth who cyberbully, and youth who are victims of face-to-face bullying are also the victims of cyberbullying. This result offers a different perspective than the media’s typical portrayal of bullying, which highlights the tendency of victims of face-to-face bullying to become bullies in future interactions. Although both tendencies may be true, this study demonstrates that youth who are bullies and victims often maintain their roles across contexts.
  3. It is important to note, however, that whereas the internet provides a largely unsupervised opportunity for adolescents to engage in cyberbullying, it also provides significant opportunities for positive social interactions. For instance, this study found that adolescents, particularly females, reported engaging in more online prosocial behavior (such as saying something nice about someone in an instant message to him or leaving a nice comment about someone on her blog) than cyberbullying. Females were similar to males in their cyberbullying but higher than males in their online positive behavior, although both males and females were higher in prosocial behavior than bullying. The more youth reported instant messaging and blogging, the more they engaged in prosocial behavior. It is possible that online communication contributes to positive face-to-face relations or vice versa. Further information about adolescents’ use of the internet to engage in prosocial behaviors and the relation of their online and face-to-face prosocial behaviors is available by contacting these researchers.

Note: These researchers may be contacted to obtain detailed statistical results of this study if desired.


  1. Lenhart, A., Madden, M., & Hitlin, P. (2005). Teens and technology. Pew Internet and American Life Project.
  2. Roberts, D. F., Foehr, U. G., & Rideout, V. (2005, March). Generation M: Media in the lives of 8-18 year-olds. Washington, D.C.: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved September 6, 2006 from
  3. Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at school: What we know and what we can do. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers Ltd.
  4. Zarzour, K. (1994). Battling the school-yard bully. Toronto: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
  5. Austin, S., & Joseph, S. (1996). Assessment of bully/victim problems in 8 to 11 year-olds. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 66, 447-456.
  6. Horne, A. M., Glaser, B., & Sayger, T. V. (1994). Bullies. Counseling and Human Development, 27, 1-12. 7) Riva, G. (2002). The sociocognitive psychology of computer-mediated communication: The present and future of technology-based interactions. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 5, 581-598. 8) Björkqvist, K., Lagerspetz, K., & Österman, K. (1992). Direct and indirect aggression scales (DIAS). Retrieved April, 2005 from

Biographical Information Kelly M. Lister, M.A. is a fifth-year doctoral student in Bowling Green State University’s Clinical Psychology program in Bowling Green, OH. Her research interests include children’s and adolescents’ computer-mediated communication (specifically instant messaging and blogging) and its relation to their aggressive and prosocial behaviors. She also is interested in school-based intervention and prevention programs related to decreasing aggression and increasing problem-solving skills and social competency. She can be contacted at

Eric F. Dubow, Ph.D. is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH and an Adjunct Research Scientist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research in Ann Arbor, MI. His primary research interests include the development of aggression from childhood to adulthood and across generations, the effects of exposure to real-life and media violence among children and adolescents, and school-based interventions focused on problem-solving and promoting social competence among children. Dr. Dubow can be contacted at, and more information about his research can be found at

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