Traditional and cyber aggressors and victims: a comparison of psychosocial characteristics

J Youth Adolesc. 2011 Apr;40(4):392-404. doi: 10.1007/s10964-010-9575-9. Epub 2010 Aug 2.


To date, relatively little is known about differences between perpetrators and victims of cyber and traditional forms of aggression. Hence, this study investigated differences among traditional and cyber aggressors and victims on psychosocial characteristics typically examined in research on traditional aggression and victimization, specifically effortful control, manipulativeness, remorselessness, proactive and reactive aggression, and anxious/depressive symptoms. Participants (N = 300; 63.2% female; M age = 12.89, SD = .95; 52% Caucasian, 27% African American, 11% Latino, and 10% other) were categorized based on aggressor type (non/low aggressor, traditional-only, cyber-only, and combined traditional and cyber) and victim type (non-victim, traditional-only, cyber-only, and combined traditional and cyber). Cyber aggressors reported lower levels of reactive aggression compared to traditional-only and combined aggressors. Combined aggressors demonstrated the poorest psychosocial profile compared to all other aggressor groups. For victimization, cyber-only and combined victims reported higher levels of reactive aggression and were more likely to be cyber aggressors themselves compared to traditional-only victims and non-victims. Findings suggest that there may be unique aspects about cyber aggression and victimization that warrant further investigation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Bullying / psychology
  • Child
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Personality
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Self Report