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date: 01 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Both adolescents and adults use mobile applications to engage in conversations, expand their social networks, and, for some, engage in romantic relationships. While mobile applications offer a range of opportunities for maintaining and expanding one’s social circle, some users are confronted with forms of aggression. This chapter reviews the scientific knowledge on two forms of aggressive behavior through mobile technology within interpersonal relationships: cyberbullying and cyber dating abuse. First, the chapter focuses on cyberbullying, defined as intentional acts through digital media to hurt, socially isolate, or cause distress to a victim, which may occur repeatedly or result in repeated harm by continued exposure. The different types, prevalence, as well as predictors and consequences of cyberbullying are analyzed. Second, the authors review research on what stimulates bystanders to help a victim or, on the contrary, join in cyberbullying. Forms of aggression through digital media may occur not only among friends or peers but also within romantic relationships. The third part of the chapter is therefore devoted to the types, motives, and consequences of cyber dating abuse: digital behaviors that occur to control, stalk, harass, or abuse one’s dating partner. Next to emotional forms of abuse (such as threatening or insulting one’s partner), some forms of cyber abuse are sexual (such as pressuring a partner to engage in sexting). To offer a deeper understanding of these digital forms of dating abuse, the contextual and relational factors of the behavior are discussed.

Keywords: mobile communication, mobile application, cyberbullying, cyber dating abuse, disinhibition, health risk

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