Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

2015

Thesis Director

Wesley D. Allan

Abstract

Cyber-victimization, a new form of bullying, emerged with the development and evolution of technology. Recent research shows discrepancies in cyber-victimization definitions and there are inconsistencies of methods used to measure cyber-victimization. This paper reviewed the literature on cyber-victimization and developed a new scale to measure cyber-victimization with the intention of making cyber-victimization research more consistent. The current study examined known correlates of cyber-victimization (e.g., depression and social anxiety) in a sample of college students using the newly developed measure. The current study also explored the moderating role of social support in the relationship between cyber-victimization and depression, as well as cybervictimization and social anxiety. Eighty two Eastern Illinois University students participated in the study through an online survey. Cyber-victimization was found to be correlated positively with depressive symptoms, consistent with predictions. Social support was not found to have a relationship with cyber-victimization. Social support was not found to be a moderator of the relationship between cyber-victimization and depression, or the relationship between cyber-victimization and social anxiety. Clinical implications of the research, limitations, and suggestions for future studies were discussed.

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