Moderating Effects of Delinquent Peer Association, Social Control, and Negative Emotion on Cyberbullying and Delinquency: Gender Differences

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Under the integrated model of General Strain Theory (GST), the present study sought to examine whether delinquent peer association, social control, and negative emotion moderated the relations of distinctive cyberbullying roles with delinquency, as well as whether the moderating effects varied by gender among a nationally representative sample of American adolescents. Based on the data from the 2009–2010 Health Behavior in School-Aged Children study in the U.S., hierarchical moderated tobit regressions were conducted to test the potential moderating effects and gender differences. Adolescents involved in cyberbullying as different roles were more likely to engage in physical fight and substance use than noninvolved peers. The relationships remained significant after controlling for delinquent peer association, social control, and negative emotion, except for the relation of being cyber-victims with substance use. In addition, delinquent peer association conditioned the relationships of three cyberbullying roles with physical fight, while negative emotion moderated the relations of being cyberbullies or cyberbullyvictims with substance use. Certain gender differences were found for the moderating effects of social control/delinquent peer association on cyberbullying roles related to physical fight and substance use. The findings suggest that GST may be useful for explaining the relations of distinctive cyberbullying roles with delinquency. Differentiating such relationships and the relevant moderating effects can be important in understanding adolescent violence and substance use. Cyberbullying-involved boys and girls under certain conditions are more vulnerable to react with violence and substance use in response to strains derived from cyberbullying experiences.

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School Psychology



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