Affective and cognitive empathy as mediators of gender differences in cyber and traditional bullying

TOPCU, Cigdem
Erdur Baker, Özgür
Gender differences in bullying behavior among adolescents have been observed, but the reasons for the discrepancy in males' and females' bullying experiences has been the focus of few studies. This study examined the role of the cognitive and affective empathy in explaining gender differences in bullying through multiple mediation analysis. The participants of the study were 795 Turkish adolescents (455 females, 340 males) ranging in age from 13- to 18-years-old. The Revised Cyber Bullying Inventory, Traditional Bullying Questionnaire and Basic Empathy Scale were utilized to gather data from participants. Findings revealed that the total effect of cognitive and affective empathy mediated the gender differences in traditional bullying in addition to the unique effect of affective empathy. However, only the combined effect of affective and cognitive empathy mediated the gender differences in cyberbullying. The findings are discussed in the light of the related literature and implications for practice.