About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 8982-8987
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.0657

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

CYBERBULLYING AND PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR ON THE NET: THE INFLUENCE OF SOME SOCIO-COGNITIVE AND CONTEXTUAL FACTORS IN A SAMPLE OF ITALIAN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

Virtual environments facilitate the possibility of hiding one’s identity, and this may raise the level of moral disengagement by providing easy recourse to thought mechanisms which are tilted towards justifying bad behavior and silencing the conscience (Cross et al, 2015). This can lead to ever easier repetitions of the immoral behavior, which can be described as cyberbullying and which over time can become increasingly serious [Kowalski et al, 2012; Patchin et al, 2012].

The aim of this study is to shed some light on the complex relationship between socio-cognitive and contextual factors, which intervene in the context of prosocial and antisocial behavior.

The study was conducted through a self-reported questionnaire. Participants (N=264, 114 male, 43.2%, and 150 female, 56.8%) were Italian adolescents attending different high schools in the Tuscany region, from first to fifth year classes. They were invited to take part in the study, on a voluntary basis, by e-mails sent to the headteachers of their schools.

The questionnaire was structured in 4 sections. The first section concerned personal data such as age, gender, type of school attended. The second section aimed at investigating the use of social networks. The third section aimed at evaluating moral disengagement through the Moral Disengagement Scale (Bandura et al, 1996) which comprises 32 items and 8 different mechanisms of moral disengagement. The last section of the questionnaire investigates the relationship between enacted or suffered pro-social pro anti-social conduct.

Results show that with regard to the realization of aggressive and offensive behavior, 23.1% (N=260) say they have posted, at least once, embarrassing photos, or offensive words about others (Have you ever published embarrassing photos, or offensive words about others for everyone to see?). While 77% out of 260 say that they happened to intervene in aid of someone who had been offended on social networks. Those who carry out offensive behavior on line, posting photos or offensive comments have a higher score for moral disengagement, in fact there is a positive correlation between offensive behavior and moral disengagement (r=.354; p<.000), and some justifying strategies are used more frequently than others. A significant difference emerges for offensive behavior related to net dependency (If I can’t use internet I get agitated; 1-strongly agree, 5-strongly disagree, mean 3.16) among those who admit to havinSocial g been offensive on line (N=60; mean=2.87) and those who don’t (N=199; mean=3.27) (Mann-Whitney U test, p<.016). It would seem then that we can claim that higher dependency on the net is related to increased enacting of offensive behaviors.

Differences are also found in relation to the type of school (virtual aggressive behaviors are more frequently reported by those who attend technical school; Chi-squared test, p<.045) and to the social media used: ASKfm and Snapchat are more frequently used by those who say they have been offensive on the net (Chi-squared test; p<.001 in both cases).

Results suggest that an increasingly more pervasive phenomenon such as cyberbullying could be more easily identified, and possibly prevented, by the observation of some behaviors (eg, the use of specific social media) in some contexts (eg, the type of school attended), in correlation with the consideration of some moral disengagement strategies (eg, the use of euphemistic language).
@InProceedings{PARLANGELI2018CYB,
author = {Parlangeli, O. and Bracci, M. and Duguid, A.M. and Marchigiani, E. and Palmistesta, P.},
title = {CYBERBULLYING AND PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR ON THE NET: THE INFLUENCE OF SOME SOCIO-COGNITIVE AND CONTEXTUAL FACTORS IN A SAMPLE OF ITALIAN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.0657},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.0657},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {8982-8987}}
TY - CONF
AU - O. Parlangeli AU - M. Bracci AU - A.M. Duguid AU - E. Marchigiani AU - P. Palmistesta
TI - CYBERBULLYING AND PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR ON THE NET: THE INFLUENCE OF SOME SOCIO-COGNITIVE AND CONTEXTUAL FACTORS IN A SAMPLE OF ITALIAN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.0657
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 8982
EP - 8987
ER -
O. Parlangeli, M. Bracci, A.M. Duguid, E. Marchigiani, P. Palmistesta (2018) CYBERBULLYING AND PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR ON THE NET: THE INFLUENCE OF SOME SOCIO-COGNITIVE AND CONTEXTUAL FACTORS IN A SAMPLE OF ITALIAN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 8982-8987.
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