The explosive rise in cyberbullying behavior and online victimization rates among university students in Athens and the role of forced confinement due to the Covid-19 pandemic


  • Nikoletta V. Papathanasopoulou



university students cyberbullying, online victimization, Robert Agnew’s General Strain Theory (GST), Pandemic Covid-19, forced confinement, insecurity, anger, oppression, coercion, online anonymity.


Τhe study focuses on the role of forced confinement in the findings of the May 2020 survey which was conducted in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and was applied to a sample of 160 students at the National Technical University of Athens. The research purpose was to test the impact of the pandemic to the cyberbullying phenomenon and the victimization of young people in Greece in the light of Robert Agnew’s General Strain Theory (GST). The findings indicate a dramatic increase and highlight a very strong interface between cyberbullying and victimization of young people and the presence of both, oppressive and stressful situations, as well as negative feelings of anger, shame and insecurity, suggested by Agnew’s theory. Additionally, the evaluation of the findings revealed an enhanced connection between cyberbullying and victimization and the conditions of forced confinement, imposed due to the rapid spread of the pandemic. The conclusion drawn from this specific finding is that coercion combined with the already burdensome, oppressive and stressful environment, students live in, are very likely to have led to the dramatic increase of the cyberbullying and online victimization rates, found by the survey. The study, which includes 15 illustration graphs of the research key results, is completed with some cautionary notes on methodological issues, as well as suggestions and conclusive thoughts.

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