Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

496

Date

2012

Date of Award

3-28-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Concentration

Clinical Psychology

Committee Chair

Cohen Robert

Committee Member

Gilbert Parra

Committee Member

Katherine Kitzmann

Committee Member

Russell Kathy

Abstract

Children are increasingly using computer technologies and many are experiencing online aggressive acts from their peers. News media reports have documented instances of cyber victimization, and social scientists have started to examine its characteristics and consequences. The present research evaluated a comprehensive conceptual model of cyber victimization as it relates to age, gender, traditional, face-to-face victimization, and classroom psychosocial functioning using structural equation modeling. 192 third through sixth grade students completed self-report and peer-report measures based on their experiences with cyber victimization, traditional victimization, and classroom psychosocial functioning at multiple levels of social complexity (including the individual, relationship, and group levels). The results indicated a fairly large prevalence of cyber victimization at these younger ages. In addition, the participants reported experiencing cyber victimization at comparable rates across grades, and between males and females. While some students may experience victimization in both contexts, there was not a significant relation between experiencing traditional victimization and cyber victimization in the current study. Consistent with previous literature, traditional victimization was significantly related to higher rates of loneliness, and lower rates of optimism about peer relations, number of mutual friendships, and social acceptability. Similarly, cyber victimization was positively related to children’s loneliness, and negatively related to children’s optimism about their peer relations and social acceptability. However, cyber victimization was not significantly related to number of mutual friendships. Results of the current study have important implications for our understanding of cyber victimization, directions for future research, as well as possible avenues for interventions.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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