Associations between Severity and Attributions: Differences for Public and Private Face-to-face and Cyber Victimization

Michelle F. Wright, Sebastian Wachs, Takuya Yanagida, Anna Ševčíková, Lenka Dědková, Fatih Bayraktar, Ikuko Aoyama, Shanmukh V. Kamble, Hana Macháčková, Zheng Li, Shruti Soudi, Li Lei, Chang Shu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Little attention has been given to whether country of origin as well as perceptions of severity impact adolescents’ attributions for public and private face-to-face and cyber victimization. The objective of the present study was to examine the role of medium (face-to-face, cyber), setting (public, private), and perceptions of severity in adolescents’ attributions for victimization, while accounting for gender and cultural values. Participants included 3,432 adolescents (ages 11–15; 49% girls) from China, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, India, Japan, and the United States. Adolescents completed a questionnaire on their cultural values and read four hypothetical peer victimization scenarios, including public face-to-face victimization, private face-to-face victimization, public cyber victimization, and private cyber victimization. They rated the severity of each scenario and how likely they would use various attributions to explain the victimization scenarios, including self-blame, aggressor-blame, joking, normative, and conflict attributions. The findings revealed that attributions varied based on severity, and that this relationship was moderated by setting and medium of victimization, as well as varied by country of origin. Taken together, the results from this study indicate complex differences in attributions based on setting, medium, perceptions of severity, and country of origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-861
Number of pages19
JournalAmerican Journal of Criminal Justice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law


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