Patterns of cybervictimization and emotion regulation in adolescents and adults

Ivana Vranjes*, Sara Erreygers, Heidi Vandebosch, Elfi Baillien, Hans De Witte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Research on cyberbullying has boomed in the past two decades. Findings from studies among adolescents suggest that they can be classified into distinct groups based on their cyberbullying experience, and that cyberbullying seems to be related to poor emotion regulation. So far, only a few studies have examined cyberbullying among adult workers and it is unclear whether cyberbullying develops similarly in that population. Therefore, in this study cyberbullying victimization was assessed in adolescents and adult workers simultaneously to address three aims: (1) to explore which groups can be distinguished based on their cyberbullying experience; (2) to analyze the associations of group membership with the way people regulate their emotions; and (3) to examine whether the results are comparable in adolescents and adults. Latent class analysis was used to analyze data from 1,426 employees and 1,715 adolescents in the first year of secondary education (12–13 years old). In each population, three profiles differing in their patterns of cybervictimization were identified: no cybervictimization (80%), work-related cybervictimization (18%), and pervasive cybervictimization (3%) for adults, and no cybervictimization (68%), similar-to-offline cybervictimization (27%), and pervasive cybervictimization (4%) for adolescents. Furthermore, these profiles differed in their use of emotion regulation strategies, with pervasive cyber-victims suppressing their emotions significantly more than other groups. Future research is needed to clarify the role of emotion regulation in cyberbullying as an antecedent or consequence of victimization.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalAggressive Behavior
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)647-657
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 01.11.2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • cyberbullying
  • emotion regulation
  • latent class analysis
  • victimization
  • 512 Business and Management


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