Adolescents' involvement in cyber-bullying behaviors as a predictor of parent-child emotional closeness

The purpose of this research was to assess cyber-bullying behaviors, both victimization and perpetration, as predictors of perceived parent-child emotional closeness. The participants consisted of freshman and sophomore high school students in the Tracy Unified School District (N = 176). Results determined that 84.7 % (n = 149) of participants were involved in at least one cyber-bullying behavior, while 15.3 % (n = 27) indicated never being involved in any of the victimization or perpetration behaviors. Specifically, 76.7 % (n = 135) disclosed experiencing cyber-bullying victimization behaviors and 75.6 % disclosed involvement in cyber-bullying perpetration behaviors. Furthermore, the majority (83.5 %) of participants who experienced cyber-bullying victimization behaviors were also involved in at least one perpetration behavior. An independent samples t-test revealed that girls were significantly more likely to be involved in cyber-bullying behaviors, both victimization and perpetration. Results of the linear regression analysis exhibited that neither victimization nor perpetration behaviors were a significant predictor of parent-child emotional closeness. However, the results showed a negative trend in that those with higher levels of cyber-bullying victimization and perpetration tended to have lower levels of parent-child emotional closeness. Although a negative trend was displayed throughout, it was not strong enough to say that cyber-bullying behaviors predicted emotional closeness with one’s parents. Furthermore, results revealed that higher frequencies of perpetration behaviors were a marginally significant predictor of lower levels of emotional closeness with the mother in particular. The results of the multiple regression analysis illustrated that there was not a significant interaction between cyber-bullying victimization and perpetration as a predictor of parent-child emotional closeness.