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Swedish adolescents’ experiences of cybervictimization and body‐related concerns

Journal article
Authors Ann Frisén
Sofia Berne
Published in Scandinavian Journal of Psychology
ISSN 0036-5564
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Psychology
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1111/sjop.12561
Subject categories Applied Psychology

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the relationships between cybervictimization and three body‐related concerns: body‐esteem, self‐objectification, and internalization of body ideals. The aim was also to examine these relationships not only to cybervictimization in general but also to appearance‐related cybervictimization more specifically. The sample comprised 482 adolescents (233 girls and 247 boys aged 13–15; two participants did not answer the question about gender) from four Swedish schools. The results showed that victims of appearance‐related cyberbullying suffered from more body‐related concerns: they had a poorer view of their general appearance and of their weight. They also reported more body shame, thin‐ideal internalization, and appearance‐related pressure from the media. This study shows that cyberbullying that focuses on the victim's appearance is associated with several body‐related concerns that have not previously been studied. A novel finding was also that body‐related concerns were not related to cyberbullying in general, as has been implied in earlier research, but specifically related to cyberbullying directed at the victim's appearance. The findings suggest that there is a need to include attention to the specific relationships between appearance‐related cyberbullying and body‐related concerns in future prevention and intervention work.

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