Online Activities and Risk Behaviors among Adolescents in the Virtual Environment

Lucija Vejmelka, Nives Strabić, Marija Jazvo


Internet addiction and cyberbullying among youth are phenomena that show a significant increase owing to the development of technology and the wide accessibility of the Internet. Research was conducted among adolescents (N = 352) in 9 randomly selected high schools in Croatia, with the aim of investigating the relationship between habitual Internet use and online risk behaviors among adolescents. The standardized measuring instruments used in the research were the Internet addiction test (Young, 1998) and The European Cyberbullying Intervention Project Questionnaire (Del Rey et al., 2015) and questions about sociodemographic characteristics of respondents and online activities. The results show that 36.2% of the participants exhibit different symptoms of Internet addiction, while 50.7% of them partake in various forms of cyberbullying. Furthermore, it is established that the amount of time spent on the Internet on instant messaging, watching movies/videos, listening to music and playing online games correlates both with Internet addiction and with participating in cyberbullying among young people. The research confirmed the assumptions of the theory of routine activities and the results indicate that perpetrators of cyberbullying show a tendency to risky behavior also in other online activities. The paper presents the relationship between the level of Internet addiction and experience of cyberbullying and provides guidelines for future research in this area.


Internet addiction; cyber bullying; online activites; adolescents

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096