The Role of Parents and Peers in Cyberbullying Perpetration: Comparison among Arab and Jewish and Youth in Israel

Hagit Sasson, Aviad Tur-Sinai, Keren Dvir, Yossi Harel-Fisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In recent years, several studies have examined the effect of parents and friends on cyberbullying victims. Less is known about their combined effect on cyber perpetrators, especially among Jewish and Arab teens in Israel. We collected data from a representative sample of 350 Jewish and Arab adolescents (aged 15–16) and their parents. We repeated the interviews twice within a year. The survey included measurements of three parental practices: support, monitoring, and protectiveness, as reported by parents at the first time of data collection. We measured the adolescents’ engagement in sensation-seeking and cyberbullying as perpetrators and perceptions about peers’ involvement in these behaviors. Path-analysis models revealed that the perception of peers’ involvement in cyberbullying perpetration was positively linked with involvement in such behavior among Jewish and Arab teens. Contrary to our expectations, no parental practice had a direct effect on cyberbullying perpetration among teens in either ethnic group. The study presents important and unique findings. The results indicate that youngsters involved in cyberbullying are strongly influenced by their peers. The prevalence of this pattern in both the Jewish and the Arab populations indicates its universal nature. On a practical level, it may be suggested that bullying behaviors may be mitigated by taking measures in formal and informal education. Another aspect of the results is the decline in parental influence on adolescents’ cyberbullying behaviors, especially among Arab teens. This may be an indicator of cultural changes taking place in the Arab population in Israel alongside widening of the generation gap.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-737
Number of pages21
JournalChild Indicators Research
Volume16
Issue number2
Early online date26 Oct 2022
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.

Keywords

  • Arab youth
  • Cyberbullying
  • Descriptive norms
  • Jewish youth
  • Parental support
  • Youth bullying

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