Cybergossip, cyberaggression, problematic Internet use and family communication
Keywords:Cyberaggression, child disclosure, problematic Internet use, cybergossip, primary education, moderated mediation model
Research into risky online behaviour among children and adolescents is on the rise, with more studies being conducted into the factors which can influence this phenomenon, above all in relation to school and family life. In the latter sphere, one relevant factor is the degree of genuine trust children have in their parents when using the Internet. The main objective of this study is to verify the effects of child disclosure about cyberaggression, in addition to the mediating role of problematic Internet use and cybergossip, and the moderating role of gender and age. A total of 866 primary school children (53% girls) between 10 and 13 years old (M=11.21; SD=0.90) were surveyed using self-reporting. The data processing followed a moderated serial mediation model using “Process”. The results revealed the effects of child disclosure about cyberaggression and the mediation of problematic Internet use and cybergossip. Unlike gender, age moderated the effects of the mediation model. The results highlight the need to foster a climate of trust and communication in the family environment to reduce involvement in risky online behaviour, in which children feel understood and supported by their parents, which in turn encourages open communication about Internet use.