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Bullying: What we know and what we can do

Friday 17 September 2021 09:00-18:00,
The EADP Summer Tour 2021.


Publisert: Endret:

Keynote speakers

Professor David Smahel, Czech Republic, and Professor Robert Thornberg, Sweden.

Online risks for children and adolescents in Europe: The developmental perspective

David Smahel is a Professor at Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.

This presentation will introduce the online risks for European children and adolescents and take into account the developmental perspective. The presented results will be based on the data of the EU Kids Online project, which carried out research on children’s and adolescents’ technology usage in 2017-19 in 19 European countries. A representative sample of a minimum of 1,000 children, aged 9 to 17, was collected in each country. The prevalence of the selected online risks will be described in the context of the child and adolescent development. Special attention will be given to four related topics: cyberbullying; cyberhate; exposure to sexual images; and excessive internet use. The differences in the online risks and the related individual and social factors will be analysed. The cross-cultural differences and specifics among countries in online risky behaviour of children and adolescents will be presented.

Short biography

David Smahel, Ph.D., is the Professor at the Faculty of Social Studies and Faculty of Informatics, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic. He leads the Interdisciplinary Research Team on Internet and Society (, which researches the social-psychological implications of the internet and technology. His current research focuses on the impact of digital technology on adolescents’ well-being, online risks, online security and human computer interaction (HCI). He is editor of Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace ( and he co-authored the books Digital Youth: The Role of Media in Development (Springer, 2011) and Digital Technology, Eating Behaviors, and Eating Disorders (Springer, 2018). Smahel has also published in several international journals, such as Developmental Psychology, Information, Communication & Society, Health Communication, European Journal of Developmental Psychology, and others.

Moral Disengagement and Bullying among Children and Adolescents

Robert Thornberg is a Professor at Linköping University in Sweden.

There is a growing body of research examining child and youth bullying from a moral perspective. In general, children judge bullying as a severe moral transgression by referring to the harm it causes to the victim. Within the social-cognitive theoretical framework, Bandura has introduced the concept of moral disengagement, which might contribute to explain the moral attitude-behavior gap in bullying. Moral disengagement refers to social and psychological maneuvers (e.g., moral justification, euphemistic labeling, diffusion of responsibility, dehumanization, and victim blame) by which self-regulated mechanisms can be deactivated and moral self-sanctions can be disengaged that, in turn, facilitates behaviors that harm others without feelings of remorse or guilt. The keynote will review cross-sectional and longitudinal research on how these social-cognitive distortions through which an individual can justify immoral conduct, thus avoiding feelings of guilt and remorse, are related to bullying perpetration and various bystander behaviors in peer victimization in childhood and adolescence. Research on individual and contextual variables that might mediate the association between moral disengagement and participant roles in bullying will be discussed as well, as recent studies examining moral disengagement as a group-level property.

Short biography

Robert Thornberg, Ph.D., is a Professor at Linköping University in Sweden. His major research interests focus on moral and social processes of school bullying, including individual and collective moral disengagement, self-efficacy and collective efficacy, student–teacher relationship quality, classroom climate, and bystander behaviors in peer victimization. He has been a member of the scientific committee of the World Anti-Bullying Forum (WABF) since 2016.

For information on the keynote speakers for Societal challenges (Austria, Sept 3) and Development trends: concerns and opportunities (Poland, Sept 10), click this link.

Invited symposia

Professor Annalaura Nocentini, Italy, and Professor Claire P. Monks, UK.

Inter-individual differences in the antibullying intervention response

Annalaura Nocentini is a Professor at the University of Florence, Italy.

After an initial attention on the global efficacy of antibullying interventions, in the last decade scholars have made an effort on understanding what is effective in the real context and which are the most effective components of a program (Gaffney, Ttofi, Farrington, 2021). However, until now only few studies have addressed the complementary question of “for whom” the antibullying interventions work, and, specifically why some children and adolescents seem not to benefit of the intervention. Identifying and understanding who do not respond to universal antibullying interventions, being them victims, bullies or defenders, is an important issue for tailoring selective and indicated programs able to meet the needs of all the children and adolescents. The symposium aims to gather and update the most recent findings on the inter-individual differences in antibullying intervention responsiveness focusing on three main dimensions: 1) to analyze the resistance to the intervention by different participant roles (bullies, victims, defenders and bully-victims); 2) to test the role of moderators of this resistance related to individual (i.e. environmental sensitivity, empathy, anxiety) and contextual factors (i.e. peer and parents rejection); 3) to test these effects manipulating the environment through different interventions. The discussion will address the implication of a “response-to-intervention framework” for the definition of a multitiered system of support providing a full continuum of supportive and effective interventions.

Short biography

Annalaura Nocentini is Professor at the University of Florence, Department of Education, Languages, Intercultures, Literatures and Psychology. She obtained her MA (2003) at the University of Florence and the PhD (2008) at the University of Rome. Her research activity is focused on aggressive behavior during development, deepening the processes of continuity and discontinuity across typical and atypical development. Her research topics include the study of bullying and cyberbullying using an individual by context perspective and the evaluation of the effectiveness of anti-bullying interventions (Notrap!, KiVa). More recently, new lines of investigation concern the role of childhood neglect on young adults’ developmental trajectories, the evaluation of effectiveness of clinical treatments for Conduct Disorders, and the study of how personal characteristics (environmental sensitivity and temperament) moderate the effectiveness of antibullying interventions.

Aggression and peer-victimisation in early childhood

Claire P. Monks is a Professor at the University of Greenwich, London, UK.

This symposium brings together three papers on aggression and peer-victimisation in early childhood from three different continents; Oceania, Europe and Asia.  There is a growing body of literature which confirms that some children behave aggressively towards others during their early peer interactions.  The first paper in this symposium is by Swit from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.  Swit examines the association between social cognition and behaviour in early childhood.  She reports on the findings of research with 3-5 year olds examining the association between children’s views of relational and physical aggression and prosocial behaviours and their engagement in these behaviours.  The second paper is by Kucaba and Monks from the University of Greenwich in the UK. This paper looks at the role of the peer group in aggressive behaviour, examining peer-relations and friendships in relation to involvement in peer-victimisation during early childhood.  The final paper is by Lee from Chung-ang University in South Korea.  Lee reports on the development of an age-appropriate anti-bullying programme for kindergartners and the evaluation of the programme in a South Korean kindergarten.  All of the papers note the importance of using age-appropriate methods when working with young children, describing innovative methodologies, including the use of cartoons, animations, Duplo, games and stortytelling.  Each of the papers in this symposium highlights the need for work to focus attention on understanding aggressive and prosocial behaviour among young children and the importance of age-appropriate programmes with young children, which appear to have promising effects in supporting children’s positive behaviour.

Short biography

Claire P. Monks gained her doctorate at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is a Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Greenwich in London, UK, where she is Deputy Head of the School of Human Sciences and the Head of the Centre for Vulnerable Children, Young People and Families. Her research focuses on the development of aggression and peer-victimisation, with a particular interest in peer-victimisation during early childhood.

For information on the symposias on Societal challenges (Austria, Sept 3) and Development trends: concerns and opportunities (Poland, Sept 10), click this link.

Preliminary programme

The preliminary day structure is as follows:

9:00 – 9:30Opening
9:30 – 10:30Keynote I
10:45 – 12:15Symposia, Thematic Sessions (parallel sessions depending on the number of submissions)
12:15 – 13:00Lunch Break
13:00 – 14:00Poster Sessions (5-10 posters in break out rooms depending on the number of submissions)
14:15 – 15:15Keynote II
15:30 – 17:00Symposia, Thematic Sessions (parallel sessions depending on the number of submissions)
17:15 – 18:00Special events (Award ceremonies, presidential address)
End of scientific programme
18:00 – 20:00EADP business meeting, ERU business meeting, etc.