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Kubiszewski, V. , Fontaine, R. , Potard, C. & Auzoult, L. (2015). Does cyberbullying overlap with school bullying when taking modality of involvement into account? Computers in Human Behavior, 43, 49-57.

Olweus (1993) identified three criteria to define bullying: 1) it is an aggressive behavior that is intentional; 2) it is repetitive; and 3) it is an interpersonal relation characterized by a systematic imbalance of power and domination. In schools, bullying can manifest itself either in direct behaviors, be they physical or verbal, or in indirect attacks (Stassen-Berger, 2007). The advances in technology have brought some deleterious social interactions such as cyberbullying (Kowalski & Limber, 2007). Cyberbullying is defined as intentional aggressive behavior that takes place via new technologies, during which groups or individuals hurt classmates who cannot easily defend themselves (Kowalski & Limber, 2007; Law, Shapka, & Olson, 2010; Slonje, Smith, & Frisén, 2013).Cyberbullying can occur via cellphones or computers, by means of text messages, e-mails, online social networks, chatrooms or blogs (Kowalski & Limber, 2007). In a study by Raskauskas and Stoltz (2007), 94% of cyberbullies were also school bullies, and 85% of cyber victims were victims at school. It also appears that being a cyber-victim and being a victim of school bullying are both significant predictors of social anxiety (Juvonen & Gross, 2008). However, Ybarra, Diener-West, and Leaf (2007) demonstrated that most victims of cyberbullying are not victims at school. Wang, Nansel, and Iannotti (2011) found a differential association of depression with school bullying and cyberbullying; in school bullying, victims and bully-victims had higher levels of depression than bullies, whereas in cyberbullying, only cyber victims exhibited higher levels of depression. Moreover, in a study by Ortega et al. (2009), victims were revealed to be less emotionally affected in cases of cyberbullying than in cases of school bullying.

Method: Adolescents from three junior high schools and two high schools in France took part in this study. The final sample consisted of 1422 students (boys = 57%) from 10 to 18 years. The revised Bully/Victim Questionnaire (rBVQ; Solberg & Olweus, 2003) was utilized; students were asked to think of bullying events that have occurred at school in the last 2-3 months. The responses are: ‘‘I haven’t bullied/been bullied by other students’’, ‘‘I have bullied/been bullied by other students only once or twice’’, ‘. . .. . .2-3 times a month’’, ‘‘. . .. . .about once a week’’, and ‘‘. . .. . .several times a week’’. Students who reported that they had both been bullied and had bullied other students 2-3 times a month or more were identified as bullies/victims. The cyberbullying questionnaire contained the items of the Electronic Bullying Questionnaire by Kowalski and Limber (2007). Perceived social disintegration was measured using six items developed by Solberg and Olweus (2003). There were six possible responses to these statements: Doesn’t apply at all, Doesn’t really apply, Applies somewhat, Applies fairly well, Applies well, and Applies exactly. Students’ psychological distress (depression tendencies and low self-esteem) was assessed by means of 11 items taken from two scales by Alsaker and Olweus (Alsaker, Dundas, & Olweus, 1991; Alsaker & Olweus, 1986).The aggression scale was developed by Solberg and Olweus (2003) with six items. Students were asked eight questions developed by Bendixen and Olweus (1999) to assess antisocial behavior; the response options were: Seldom or never, Sometimes, Fairly often, Often, and Very often.

Results: 15% were victims of school bullying, 8% were school bullies, and 3% were bullies/victims. Regarding cyberbullying 18% were cyber victims, 4% were cyberbullies, and 5% were cyberbully-victims. School bullying and cyberbullying overlapped very little; in the majority of cases, adolescents involved in cyberbullying were not the same as those involved in school bullying. Students involved in any type of bullying were associated with psychosocial problems unlike the non-involved students. Victims of school bullying had greater internalizing problems than cyber victims, while school bullies were more aggressive than cyberbullies. School victims and those who were subjected to both forms of aggression (cyber & school) had significantly higher levels of perceived social disintegration than cyber-victims and noninvolved students. Concerning psychological distress, school and cyber & school victims had significantly higher scores. For bullies, who are engaged in school and in cyber & school bullying, aggression scores were significantly higher than cyberbullies and noninvolved students. Concerning antisocial behaviors, cyber & school bullies had the highest scores and noninvolved students the lowest ones.

Discussion: Cyberbullying represents just as much a public health problem as school bullying. More than one in four were involved in each type of bullying. Cyberbullies appeared to be less aggressive than school bullies, but with comparable levels of antisocial behavior.