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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01723

Friendship quality and gender differences in association with cyberbullying involvement and psychological well-being

 Mairead Foody1, 2*, Lian McGuire2 and  James O'Higgins2
  • 1Dublin City University, Ireland
  • 2Anti-Bullying Research Centre, Dublin City University, Ireland


Current literature has documented the detrimental effects of cyberbullying which include a range of internalising and externalising problems for those involved. Although critical, this research can sometimes ignore social-ecological aspects of a child’s life that can potentially ‘buffer’ the negative psychological effects of such involvement. With this in mind, this cross-sectional investigation of 12-16 year olds [M(SD): 13.5(1) years] in Ireland focused on the role of friendship quality and gender in association with cyberbullying involvement and psychological well-being (N= 2410). The Cyberbullying and Online Aggression Scale was used to measure cyber perpetration and victimisation. A modified version of the Cambridge Friendship Questionnaire was included to investigate peer friendship quality. Finally, the Moods and Feeling Questionnaire and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire were chosen to provide a measurement of psychological well-being. Prevalence rates for various types of cyberbullying roles (cyber bullies, victims and bully/victims) are presented, as well as differences for psychological well-being, friendship quality and cyberbullying involvement. In addition, regression models were used to determine the associations between gender, age, friendship quality and involvement in cyberbullying with psychological well-being. The results are considered in terms of the current literature and directions for future research are suggested.

Keywords: cyberbullying, Friendship quality, gender, psychological well-being, post-primary

Received: 19 Mar 2019; Accepted: 11 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Eva M. Romera, Universidad de Córdoba, Spain

Reviewed by:

David Álvarez-García, Department of Psychology, University of Oviedo, Spain
Raúl Navarro, University of Castilla La Mancha, Spain  

Copyright: © 2019 Foody, McGuire and O'Higgins. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Mairead Foody, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland, mairead.foody@dcu.ie