Self-Esteem and Adolescent Bullying/Cyberbullying and Victimization/Cybervictimization Behaviours: A Person-Oriented Approach


  • Anna L. Palermiti
  • Maria G. Bartolo
  • Pasquale Musso
  • Rocco Servidio
  • Angela Costabile


Although previous studies seemed to recognize negative associations between self-esteem and bullying/cyberbullying and victimization/cybervictimization behaviours, the findings are controversial. The current study tried to shed light on this issue by using a person-oriented approach among Italian adolescents. Participants included 936 students aged 13-16 years. Different domains of self-esteem and bullying/cyberbullying and victimization/cybervictimization behaviour during the previous 2-3 months were assessed through a self-administered questionnaire. The results suggested four self-esteem profiles, i.e., school/family-oriented, consistently high, self-derogation, and body/peer-oriented. Students in the consistently high self-esteem profile seemed to be more protected against bullying/cyberbullying and victimization/cybervictimization behaviours compared to those in the self-derogation profile. The findings showed that among adolescents there is a degree of heterogeneity in the self-esteem domain associated with different levels of bullying/cyberbullying and victimization/cybervictimization behaviour. This suggests that different domains of self-esteem and their interdependencies play a crucial role during adolescence, with consequences also in terms of diverse patterns of active and passive aggressive behaviour.