Cross-cultural similarities and differences in the theoretical predictors of cyberbullying perpetration: Results from a seven-country study

Aggress Behav. 2021 Jan;47(1):111-119. doi: 10.1002/ab.21923. Epub 2020 Aug 27.


The Barlett Gentile cyberbullying model (BGCM) posits that correlated anonymity perceptions and the belief in the irrelevance of muscularity for online bullying (BIMOB) predict positive cyberbullying attitudes to predict subsequent cyberbullying perpetration. Much research has shown the BGCM to be the only published theory that differentiates traditional and cyberbullying while validly predicting cyberbullying. So far, however, the cross-cultural ubiquity has gone understudied. Thus, 1,592 adult participants across seven countries (USA, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, and Singapore) completed measures germane to the BGCM. Supporting the BGCM, the variables were significantly correlated for the entire sample, participants from independent cultures, and participants from interdependent cultures. However, the relationship between BIMOB and positive cyberbullying attitudes as well as the relationship between positive cyberbullying attitudes and cyberbullying perpetration were stronger for independent cultures. These results suggest that the BGCM postulates are mostly universal, but several relations appear to be culturally different. Theoretical implications are discussed.

Keywords: anonymity; cross-cultural differences; culture; cyberbullying; cyberbullying attitudes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Australia
  • Bullying*
  • China
  • Crime Victims*
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Cyberbullying*
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Japan