Becoming Captain Marvel: From cyberbullying victim to cyber-defender

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Objective: Cyberbullying is a widespread, sometimes deadly, concern among Internet users worldwide. To reduce and ultimately end the negative impacts of cyberbullying, defending potential victims of cyberbullying victims is critical. However, researchers have not developed a comprehensive model of online defending behaviors that help potential cyber-victims (cyber-defending). This study takes a small step by determining some antecedents of cyber-defending.

Methods: 817 Hong Chinese students responded to survey on their psychological well-being, face-to-face and online cyber-victimization, awareness of cyberbullying, and cyber-defending behaviors.

Results: Students who were depressed were more likely to be face-to-face bullying victims, who in turn were more likely both to be cyberbullying victims and to witness cyberbullying, both of which were positively linked to more cyber-defending. Also, students with higher awareness of cyberbullying (i.e. knowing that cyberbullying harms) were more likely to witness cyberbullying and hence cyber-defend. Controlling for participants’ psychosocial well-being showed similar results.

Conclusions: This study helps fill a research gap by theoretically proposing and empirically showing cyber-defending mechanisms of cyber-defending behavior among Hong Kong Chinese students. These findings undergird the design of future intervention programs to increase cyber-defending, reduce the number cyber-victims, and ultimately prevent cyberbullying. Copyright © 2021 ICP.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
EventThe 32nd International Congress of Psychology - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 18 Jul 202123 Jul 2021


ConferenceThe 32nd International Congress of Psychology
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address


Leung, A. N. M., & Chiu, M. M. (2021, July). Becoming Captain Marvel: From cyberbullying victim to cyber-defender. Paper presented at The 32nd International Congress of Psychology, Prague, Czech Republic.


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