Izabela Zych María Beltrán-Catalán Rosario Ortega-Ruiz Vicente J. Llorent
Bullying and cyberbullying are extremely damaging violent behaviors present in schools. A promising research line focuses on social and emotional competencies in relation to bullying and cyberbullying. The aim of this study was to describe social and emotional competencies in Spanish adolescents in relation to age and gender and to find out if the level of social and emotional competencies was related to different bullying and cyberbullying roles. This study was conducted with a representative sample of 2139 adolescents enrolled in 22 schools. Social and emotional competencies differed by gender and age. Bullying and cyberbullying perpetrators and bully-victims scored low in social and emotional competencies. There was no significant difference between victims and uninvolved students. Controlling for age and gender, low social awareness and prosocial behavior were independently related to bullying perpetration and being a bully-victim. Low responsible decision making was related to being a bully-victim and being a cyberbully-cybervictim. These findings suggest that social and emotional competencies can protect adolescents against bullying and cyberbullying but future studies are needed to establish possible causal relationships between these competencies, bullying and cyberbullying.