Bullying Perpetration, Moral Disengagement and Need for Popularity: Examining Reciprocal Associations in Adolescence

Eva M. Romera, Rosario Ortega-Ruiz, Kevin Runions, Antonio Camacho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Precursors and consequences of bullying have been widely explored, but much remains unclear about the association of moral and motivational factors. This study examined longitudinal associations between need for popularity, moral disengagement, and bullying perpetration. A total of 3017 participants, aged 11 to 16 years in wave 1 (49% girls; Mage = 13.15, SD = 1.09), were surveyed across four waves with six-month intervals. At the between-person level, cross-lagged modeling revealed a positive bidirectional association between moral disengagement and need for popularity; bullying perpetration was predicted by both need for popularity and moral disengagement. From the within-person level, random intercept cross-lagged analyses revealed that need for popularity predicted both moral disengagement and bullying perpetration. The results highlight the interplay between motivational and moral mechanisms that underlies bullying behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2021-2035
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Volume50
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

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