Studies indicate that morality is important for the explanation of bullying, and that bullying and cyberbullying overlap, although these phenomena are often considered separately. The present study involved 206 adolescents (14-17 years) and was aimed at investigating whether moral acceptability of bullying and other moral dimensions differ in cyberbullying in comparison to bullying. Adolescents’ perceptions of the severity of cyberbullying as compared to bullying did not differ significantly. Nevertheless, off-line bullying elicited higher moral disengagement and moral emotions than cyberbullying. Perceiving bullying as morally acceptable was associated with both online and offline bullying, and with defending the victim but only offline. Moral disengagement was also positively associated with the outsider role only in offline bullying situations. Hence, morality seemed to be more relevant in explaining traditional bullying than cyberbullying. Nevertheless, a moral dilution appears in cyberbullying.
Keywords: Bullying, cyberbullying, morality, moral disengagment, moral emotions
Simona C. S. Caravita, Luca Milani, Giulia Binaghi, Cristiana Apolloni, Morality distortions as risk factor in bullying and cyberbullying. in "MALTRATTAMENTO E ABUSO ALL’INFANZIA" 1/2018, pp. 47-66, DOI:10.3280/MAL2018-001004