Effects of an incremental theory of personality intervention on the reciprocity between bullying and cyberbullying victimization and perpetration in adolescents

Autoři: Esther Calvete aff001;  Izaskun Orue aff001;  Liria Fernández-González aff001;  Angel Prieto-Fidalgo aff001
Působiště autorů: University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224755


The incremental theory of personality interventions (ITPI) teaches adolescents that people can change. Researchers have found that these interventions can reduce the perpetration of bullying and cyberbullying. Moreover, there is reciprocity between perpetrating bullying behaviors and being a victim of them. The objective of this study was to examine whether the ITPI reduces the reciprocity between victimization and perpetration of bullying and cyberbullying. A sample of 858 high school students (52% boys) aged 12 to 17 at pretest (M = 14.56, SD = 0.97) participated in a double-blind randomized controlled trial (452 participants were assigned to the experimental condition and 406 to the control condition). Measures of bullying and cyberbullying were taken at baseline, six-month, and 12-month follow-ups. The results indicated that victimization was a strong predictor of perpetration for bullying and cyberbullying over time. Perpetration was not a predictor of victimization. Consistently, for both forms of aggressive behavior, the intervention reduced the intensity of the association between victimization and perpetration. This effect was not moderated by the age or sex of the participants. Finally, the effectiveness of the ITPI was moderated by age. Specifically, among the youngest (< 14.48 years), those who received the ITPI showed a slight tendency to reduce aggressive behavior that contrasted with the growing trend in the control group. Among the oldest participants (> 14.48), the trajectories were similar in the two groups. Our findings show that influencing adolescents’ reactions to peer aggression victimization is one of the mechanisms that could explain the beneficial effects of the ITPI and other preventive interventions.

Klíčová slova:

Adolescents – Aggression – Behavior – Longitudinal studies – Personality – Psychometrics – Schools


1. Olweus D. Bullying at school: what we know and what we can do. Choice Reviews Online. Malden: Blackwell Publishing; 1993.

2. Lebrun-Harris LA, Sherman LJ, Limber SP, Miller BD, Edgerton EA. Bullying Victimization and Perpetration among U.S. Children and Adolescents: 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health. J Child Fam Stud. 2018;1–15. doi: 10.1007/s10826-018-1170-9

3. Muijs D. Can schools reduce bullying? The relationship between school characteristics and the prevalence of bullying behaviours. Br J Educ Psychol. 2017;87: 255–272. doi: 10.1111/bjep.12148 28220471

4. Alavi N, Roberts N, Sutton C, Axas N, Repetti L. Bullying Victimization (Being Bullied) among Adolescents Referred for Urgent Psychiatric Consultation: Prevalence and Association with Suicidality. Can J Psychiatry. 2015;60: 427–431. doi: 10.1177/070674371506001003 26720189

5. Simón MJ, Fuentes R., Garrido M, Serrano M dolores, Larrañaga ME, Yubero S. Personal and victimization social factors which protect against bullying. Enfermería Glob. 2019;54: 13–25. doi: 10.6018/eglobal.18.2.345931

6. Schoeler T, Duncan L, Cecil CM, Ploubidis GB, Pingault JB. Quasi-experimental evidence on short- and long-term consequences of bullying victimization: A meta-analysis. Psychol Bull. 2018;144: 1229–1246. doi: 10.1037/bul0000171 30475016

7. Baier D, Hong JS, Kliem S, Bergmann MC. Consequences of Bullying on Adolescents’ Mental Health in Germany: Comparing Face-to-Face Bullying and Cyberbullying. J Child Fam Stud. 2018;99. doi: 10.1007/s10826-018-1181-6

8. Hinduja S, Patchin JW. Cyberbullying: Neither an epidemic nor a rarity. Eur J Dev Psychol. 2012;9: 539–543. doi: 10.1080/17405629.2012.706448

9. Zych I, Ortega-Ruiz R, Marín-López I. Cyberbullying: A systematic review of research, its prevalence and assessment issues in Spanish studies. Psicol Educ. 2016;22: 5–18. doi: 10.1016/j.pse.2016.03.002

10. Patchin JW, Hinduja S. Preventing and responding to cyberbullying: Expert perspectives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Routledge; 2012.

11. Herrera-López M, Romera E, Ortega-Ruiz R. Bullying y cyberbullying en Colombia; coocurrencia en adolescentes escolarizados. Rev Latinoam Psicol. 2017;49: 163–172. doi: 10.1016/j.rlp.2016.08.001

12. Machimbarrena JM, Garaigordobil M. Bullying/Cyberbullying en quinto y sexto curso de primaria: diferencias entre centros públicos y privados. An Psicol. 2017;33: 319. doi: 10.6018/analesps.33.2.249381

13. Kowalski RM, Limber SP, Limber S, Agatston PW. Cyberbullying: Bullying in the digital age. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons; 2012.

14. Royuela-Colomer E, Calvete E, Gámez-Guadix M, Orue I. The Protective Role of Dispositional Mindfulness Against the Perpetuation of Cyberbullying Victimization and Perpetration Among Adolescents. Cyberpsychology, Behav Soc Netw. 2018;21: 703–710. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2017.0685

15. Pabian S, Vandebosch H. An Investigation of Short-Term Longitudinal Associations Between Social Anxiety and Victimization and Perpetration of Traditional Bullying and Cyberbullying. J Youth Adolesc. 2016;45: 328–339. doi: 10.1007/s10964-015-0259-3 25687265

16. Barker ED, Arseneault L, Brendgen M, Fontaine N, Maughan B. Joint Development of Bullying and Victimization in Adolescence. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; 2008;47: 1030–1038. doi: 10.1097/CHI.0b013e31817eec98

17. Festl R, Quandt T. The Role of Online Communication in Long-Term Cyberbullying Involvement Among Girls and Boys. J Youth Adolesc. 2016;45: 1931–1945. doi: 10.1007/s10964-016-0552-9 27474042

18. Holfeld B, Mishna F. Longitudinal Associations in Youth Involvement as Victimized, Bullying, or Witnessing Cyberbullying. Cyberpsychology, Behav Soc Netw. 2018;21: 234–239. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2017.0369 29624446

19. You S, Yoon J. Peer Victimization: Exploring Psychosocial Correlates and Reciprocal Longitudinal Relationship. J Community Psychol. 2016;44: 426–441. doi: 10.1002/jcop.21779

20. Erreygers S, Vandebosch H, Vranjes I, Baillien E, De Witte H. Positive or negative spirals of online behavior? Exploring reciprocal associations between being the actor and the recipient of prosocial and antisocial behavior online. New Media Soc. 2018;20: 3437–3456. doi: 10.1177/1461444817749518

21. da Silva JL, de Oliveira WA, de Mello FCM, de Andrade LS, Bazon MR, Silva MAI. Anti-bullying interventions in schools: a systematic literature review. Cien Saude Colet. 2017;22: 2329–2340. 28724015

22. Della Cioppa V, O’Neil A, Craig W. Learning from traditional bullying interventions: A review of research on cyberbullying and best practice. Aggress Violent Behav. 2015;23: 61–68. doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2015.05.009

23. Evans CBR, Fraser MW, Cotter KL. The effectiveness of school-based bullying prevention programs: A systematic review. Aggress Violent Behav. 2014;19: 532–544. doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2014.07.004

24. Lee S, Kim CJ, Kim DH. A meta-analysis of the effect of school-based anti-bullying programs. J Child Heal Care. 2015;19: 136–153. doi: 10.1177/1367493513503581 24092871

25. Kärnä A, Voeten M, Little TD, Poskiparta E, Kaljonen A, Salmivalli C. A Large-Scale Evaluation of the KiVa Antibullying Program: Grades 4–6. Child Dev. 2011;82: 311–330. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01557.x 21291444

26. Yeager DS, Fong CJ, Lee HY, Espelage DL. Declines in efficacy of anti-bullying programs among older adolescents: Theory and a three-level meta-analysis. J Appl Dev Psychol. 2015;37: 36–51. doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2014.11.005

27. Williford A, Elledge LC, Boulton AJ, DePaolis KJ, Little TD, Salmivalli C. Effects of the KiVa Antibullying Program on Cyberbullying and Cybervictimization Frequency Among Finnish Youth. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2013;42: 820–833. doi: 10.1080/15374416.2013.787623 23659182

28. Andreou E, Didaskalou E, Vlachou A. Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Curriculum-based Anti-bullying Intervention Program in Greek Primary Schools. Educ Psychol. 2007;27: 693–711. doi: 10.1080/01443410601159993

29. Yeager DS, Dahl RE, Dweck CS. Why Interventions to Influence Adolescent Behavior Often Fail but Could Succeed. Perspect Psychol Sci. 2018;13: 101–122. doi: 10.1177/1745691617722620 29232535

30. Stice E, Shaw H, Marti CN. A meta-analytic review of obesity prevention programs for children and adolescents: The skinny on interventions that work. Psychol Bull. 2006;132: 667–691. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.132.5.667 16910747

31. Walton GM, Wilson TD. Wise interventions: Psychological remedies for social and personal problems. Psychol Rev. 2018;125: 617–655. doi: 10.1037/rev0000115 30299141

32. Walton GM. The New Science of Wise Psychological Interventions. Curr Dir Psychol Sci. 2014;23: 73–82. doi: 10.1177/0963721413512856

33. Brady MC, Kelly H, Godwin J, Enderby P, Campbell P. Speech and language therapy for aphasia following stroke. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016; 4–7. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD000425.pub4 27245310

34. Silverman A, Logel C, Cohen GL. Self-affirmation as a deliberate coping strategy: The moderating role of choice. J Exp Soc Psychol. 2013;49: 93–98. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2012.08.005

35. Miu AS, Yeager DS. Preventing Symptoms of Depression by Teaching Adolescents That People Can Change. Clin Psychol Sci. 2015;3: 726–743. doi: 10.1177/2167702614548317

36. Yeager DS, Trzesniewski KH, Dweck CS. An Implicit Theories of Personality Intervention Reduces Adolescent Aggression in Response to Victimization and Exclusion. Child Dev. 2013;84: 970–988. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12003 23106262

37. Calvete E, Fernández-Gonzalez L, Orue I, Echezarraga A, Royuela-Colomer E, Cortazar N, et al. The Effect of an Intervention Teaching Adolescents that People can Change on Depressive Symptoms, Cognitive Schemas, and Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Hormones. J Abnorm Child Psychol. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology; 2019; doi: 10.1007/s10802-019-00538-1 30903540

38. Sulkowski ML, Simmons J. The protective role of teacher-student relationships against peer victimization and psychosocial distress. Psychol Sch. 2018;55: 137–150. doi: 10.1002/pits.22086

39. Yeager DS, Miu AS, Powers J, Dweck CS. Implicit Theories of Personality and Attributions of Hostile Intent: A Meta-Analysis, an Experiment, and a Longitudinal Intervention. Child Dev. 2013;84: 1651–1667. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12062 23402434

40. Calvete E, Fernández-González, L. Echezarraga A, Orue I, Muga J, Landa M. Effects of a Single-Session Incremental Theory of Personality Intervention on Aggressive Behavior in Adolescents: Grade and testosterone levels as moderators. Manuscr Submitt to Publ. 2018;

41. Menesini E, Salmivalli C. Bullying in schools: the state of knowledge and effective interventions. Psychol Health Med. 2017;22: 240–253. doi: 10.1080/13548506.2017.1279740 28114811

42. Barlett C, Coyne SM. A meta-analysis of sex differences in cyber-bullying behavior: The moderating role of age. Aggress Behav. 2014;40: 474–488. doi: 10.1002/ab.21555 25098968

43. Card NA, Stucky BD, Sawalani GM, Little TD. Direct and Indirect Aggression During Childhood and Adolescence: A Meta-Analytic Review of Gender Differences, Intercorrelations, and Relations to Maladjustment. Child Dev. 2008;79: 1185–1229. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01184.x 18826521

44. Working Group of the Spanish Society of Epidemiology and the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine. Proposal for a social class measure. Atención Primaria. 2000;25: 350–363.

45. Yeager DS, Johnson R, Spitzer BJ, Trzesniewski KH, Powers J, Dweck CS. The far-reaching effects of believing people can change: Implicit theories of personality shape stress, health, and achievement during adolescence. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2014;106: 867–884. doi: 10.1037/a0036335 24841093

46. Yeager DS, Walton GM, Brady ST, Akcinar EN, Paunesku D, Keane L, et al. Teaching a lay theory before college narrows achievement gaps at scale. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2016;113: E3341–E3348. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1524360113 27247409

47. Prinstein MJ, Boergers J, Vernberg EM. Overt and Relational Aggression in Adolescents: Social-Psychological Adjustment of Aggressors and Victims. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2001;30: 479–491. doi: 10.1207/S15374424JCCP3004_05 11708236

48. Dempsey AG, Sulkowski ML, Nichols R, Storch EA. Differences between peer victimization in cyber and physical settings and associated psychosocial adjustment in early adolescence. Psychol Sch. 2009;46: 962–972. doi: 10.1002/pits.20437

49. Yolanda M. La resiliencia en adolescents víctimas de bullying como factor protector ante los trastornos internalizantes y externalizantes. University of Deusto. 2015.

50. Orue I, Calvete E. Psychopathic Traits and Moral Disengagement Interact to Predict Bullying and Cyberbullying Among Adolescents. J Interpers Violence. 2019;34: 2313–2332. doi: 10.1177/0886260516660302 27436091

51. Calvete E, Orue I, Estévez A, Villardón L, Padilla P. Cyberbullying in adolescents: Modalities and aggressors’ profile. Comput Human Behav. 2010;26: 1128–1135. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2010.03.017

52. Gámez-Guadix M, Villa-George F, Calvete E. Psychometric Properties of the Cyberbullying Questionnaire (CBQ) Among Mexican Adolescents. Violence Vict. 2014;29: 232–247. doi: 10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D-12-00163R1 24834745

53. Little TD, Jorgensen TD, Lang KM, Moore EWG. On the Joys of Missing Data. J Pediatr Psychol. 2013;39: 151–162. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jst048 23836191

54. Raudenbush SW, Bryk AS, Cheong YF, Congdon R, Du Toit M. Hierarchical linear and nonlinear modeling (HLM7). Lincolnwood, Sci Softw Int. 2011;1112.

55. Gradinger P, Yanagida T, Strohmeier D, Spiel C. Effectiveness and sustainability of the ViSC Social Competence Program to prevent cyberbullying and cyber-victimization: Class and individual level moderators. Aggress Behav. 2016;42: 181–193. doi: 10.1002/ab.21631 26879896

Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 11