Cyberbullying in context: Direct and indirect effects by low self-control across 25 European countries

Alexander T. Vazsonyi, Hana Machackova, Anna Sevcikova, David Smahel, Alena Cerna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


Random samples of at least 1,000 youth, ages 9 to 16 years, from 25 European countries (N = 25,142) were used to test the salience of low self-control on cyberbullying perpetration and victimization (direct and indirect effects), framed by a cross-cultural developmental approach. Path models, which provided evidence of invariance by sex, tested the hypothesized links among low self-control as well as known correlates, including offline perpetration and victimization, and externalizing behaviours. Results showed positive associations between online and offline bullying behaviours (perpetration and victimization), and, more interestingly, both direct but mostly indirect effects by low self-control on cyberbullying perpetration and victimization; externalizing behaviours had little additional explanatory power. Importantly, multi-group tests by country samples provided evidence of quite modest differences in the tested links across the 25 developmental contexts, despite some observed differences in the amount of variance explained in the dependent measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-227
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Correspondence should be addressed to Alexander T. Vazsonyi, University of Kentucky, Department of Family Sciences, 316 Funkhouser Building, Lexington, KY 40506, USA. E-mail: Data collection of the ‘‘EU Kids Online’’ network was funded by the EC (DG Information Society) Safer Internet Plus Programme (project code SIP-KEP-321803); this work was supported by Masaryk University and by a Fulbright-Masaryk Distinguished Chair fellowship to the first author to spend the fall semester (2010) in the Department of Psychology and the Institute for Research on Children, Youth and Family at Masaryk University in Brno (Czech Republic). The remaining authors were supported by the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MSM0021622406), the Czech Science Foundation (P407/11/0585), and the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University.We would like to thank Pan Chen at the University of Chicago for her assistance with conducting the multi-level model test.


  • Cross-cultural
  • Cyberbullying
  • Deviance
  • Problem behaviours
  • Self-control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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