Development of a Scale to Investigate Cybervictimization Among Online Social Utility Members

 

This study aimed to develop a scale to investigate cybervictimization among the members of an online social utility. Eight hundred ninety-six participants were recruited with a 36-item web-based survey, which was developed through literature review and expert opinions. The dataset was used for an exploratory factor analysis. After dysfunctional items were eliminated, a 28-item set emerged with a very high internal consistency coefficient explaining half of the total variance with a single-factor structure. The second administration was realized with 200 new participants to confirm the single-factor structure. Along with acceptable fit indices, higher values of internal consistency coefficient and explained variance were observed. It was confirmed that different forms of cyberbullying identified in the literature were included in the questionnaire such as flaming, harassment, cyberstalking, denigration, masquerade, outing and trickery, and exclusion. Receiving religious or politic messages, and unwanted behaviors specifically directed at participants were within the factor structure of the scale. When unwanted behaviors were directed at a larger set of audience, or when the exact target was not the users themselves, such behaviors were not within the factor structure even though somebody else was mistreated. Preliminary findings were discussed followed by implications and suggestions for further research.