Dutch Cyberbullying Victims’ Experiences, Perceptions, Attitudes and Motivations Related to (Coping with) Cyberbullying: Focus Group Interviews

Niels C.L. Jacobs, Linda Goossens, Francine Dehue, Trijntje Völlink, Lilian Lechner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Because of the negative effects of cyberbullying; and because of its uniquecharacteristics; interventions to stop cyberbullying are needed. For this purpose,more insightful information is needed about cyberbullying victims’ (i.e., the targetgroup) experiences, perceptions, attitudes and motivations related to (coping with)cyberbullying. Five schools with 66 low-educated Dutch adolescents between 12and 15 (53% female) participated in 10 focus group interviews. Results show thatvictims do not perceive all behaviors as cyberbullying and traditional bullying isgenerally perceived as worse than cyberbullying. Cyberbullies are perceived as sad,cowards and embarrassing themselves. Victims are perceived as easy targets; theywear strange clothes, act in a provocative manner and have a bad appearance. Theseperceptions often depend on context, the level of anonymity, being in a fight or not,the person sending the message and his/her behavior. Further, victims reacted tocyberbullying by acting nonchalant, by not actually saying anything and seekinghelp from others (i.e., parents are not often asked for help because they do not wantto bother them; fear of restricted Internet privileges). It can be concluded that askingcyberbullying victims about their experiences in an open manner, and allowingthem to discuss these experiences, likely results in new and insightful informationcompared to using self-reports. In this questioning the perception of adolescents iskey to see what is perceived as cyberbullying.

This book is a printed edition of the Special Issue Cyberbullying: Where Are We Now? A Cross-National Understanding that was published in Societies
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCyberbullying
Subtitle of host publicationWhere Are We Now? A Cross-National Understanding
EditorsConor Mc Guckin, Lucie Corcoran
Place of PublicationBasel
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9783038423119
ISBN (Print)9783038423102
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Cyberbullying
  • attitudes
  • motivation related to coping with cyberbullying

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