Cyberaggression in Adolescents of Bolivia: Connection with Psychopathological Symptoms, Adaptive and Predictor Variables

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Feb 6;17(3):1022. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17031022.


Concern about the increase of cyberbullying underlies this study, which had four objectives: (1) to calculate the prevalence of cyberaggressors; (2) to compare non-cyberaggressors with cyberaggressors in other bullying/cyberbullying roles, in psychopathological symptoms, and in self-image of masculinity/femininity, happiness, and empathy; (3) to analyze whether cyberaggressors consulted with a psychologist more than non-cyberaggressors; and (4) to identify predictor variables of cyberaggression. Participants were 1558 Bolivian students aged 13 to 17 years. Seven evaluation instruments were administered, using a descriptive, comparative, cross-sectional methodology. Results: (1) 32.7% of cyberaggressors (27.4% occasional, 5.3% severe) were found, with a higher percentage of males; (2) compared to non-cyberaggressors, cyberaggressors engaged in more face-to-face bullying behaviors, suffered more face-to-face victimization and cybervictimization, had more psychopathological symptoms (depression, somatization, obsession-compulsion, interpersonal sensitivity, anxiety, hostility, paranoid ideation, psychoticism), higher overall level of psychopathology, had requested psychological assistance in a greater proportion, self-defined with many attributes associated with masculinity, and felt less happiness and less empathy; and (3) being or having been a cybervictim, being or having been an aggressor of face-to-face bullying, low empathetic joy, and a self-image based on attributes associated with masculinity were predictors of cyberaggression. The need for therapeutic intervention with all those involved and the importance of prevention in the school context are discussed.

Keywords: Bolivia; adolescence; cyberaggression; cyberbullying; empathy; happiness; predictors; prevalence; psychopathology; self-image.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Bolivia
  • Bullying / psychology*
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Psychopathology