Stay Safe and Strong: Characteristics, Roles and Emotions of Student-Produced Comics Related to Cyberbullying

Mameli, Consuelo; Menabò, Laura; Brighi, Antonella; Menin, Damiano; Culbert, Catherine; Hamilton, Jayne; Scheithauer, Herbert; Smith, Peter K.; Völlink, Trijntje; Willems, Roy A.; Purdy, Noel and Guarini, Annalisa. 2022. Stay Safe and Strong: Characteristics, Roles and Emotions of Student-Produced Comics Related to Cyberbullying. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(14), 8776. ISSN 1660-4601 [Article]

ijerph-19-08776-v3.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (2MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

The present study aimed at giving voice to students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds using a co-participatory approach. Participants were 59 adolescents (52.5% males) aged between 14 and 16 from five European countries who created ten comics to illustrate cyberbullying for a broader audience of peers. We analyzed texts and images according to four primary themes: cyberbullying episodes (types, platforms, co-occurrence with bullying), coping strategies, characters (roles, gender, and group membership), and emotions. The content analysis showed that online denigration on social media platforms was widely represented and that cyberbullying co-existed with bullying. Social strategies were frequently combined with passive and confrontational coping, up to suicide. All roles (cyberbully, cybervictim, bystander, reinforcer, defender) were portrayed among the 154 characters identified, even if victims and defenders appeared in the vignettes more often. Males, females, peers, and adults were represented in all roles. Among the 87 emotions detected, sadness was the most frequently expressed, followed by joy, surprise, anger, and fear. Emotions, mainly represented by drawings or drawings with text, were most often represented in association with cybervictims. The results are discussed in terms of their methodological and practical implications, as they emphasize the importance of valorizing young peoples’ voices in research and interventions against cyberbullying.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):

Additional Information:

Funding: This research was funded by ERASMUS +, grant number 2017-1-UK01-KA201-036554, “Blurred Lives Project—a cross-national, co-participatory exploration of cyberbullying, young people and socio-economic disadvantage”; N.P. is the PI of the project.

Data Access Statement:

The data presented in this study (e.g., codings) are available on request from the corresponding author. All the original comics can be retrieved from the following link: (accessed on 25 May 2022).


cyberbullying; adolescents; co-participatory approach; arts-based method; comics

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



16 July 2022Accepted
19 July 2022Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

25 Oct 2023 08:55

Last Modified:

25 Oct 2023 15:37

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)