Victim and non-victim perceptions and experiences of cyber-harassing and cyberstalking behaviours

O'Neill, C, 2011. Victim and non-victim perceptions and experiences of cyber-harassing and cyberstalking behaviours. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

People are increasingly using the Internet and mobile phone technology to communicate with others in their daily lives. Despite researchers' claims that cyber-harassment is becoming increasingly widespread, little is known about the phenomenon. This thesis adopted a mixed methods approach to gain a holistic understanding of the experience of cyber-harassment, how it is perceived by non-victims, and police officers' perceptions of, and role in combating the crime. Although cyber-harassment is a crime within the UK, prosecuted using the Protection from Harassment Act (1997), few may perceive it as such due to the virtual nature of the perpetrator's behaviour. Using data gathered in an online survey completed by 320 undergraduate students, principal axis factoring revealed three dimensions underlying perceived criminality of 18 cyber-harassing behaviours – deception/disclosure, harassing messages, and malicious software. Sending malicious software and harassing messages were perceived as criminal but participants were unsure about more ambiguous acts associated with deceiving or disclosing information to the victim. High Internet self-efficacious individuals (i.e., those who feel more in control of online interactions) were more likely than low Internet self-efficacious individuals to perceive malicious software as criminal. Low-agreeable individuals were more likely than high-agreeable individuals to perceive harassing messages as criminal. Whilst personality and Internet self-efficacy influenced perceived criminality for some cyber-harassing behaviours the findings were not consistent. However, females were more likely than males to perceive harassing messages and behaviours associated with deception/disclosure as criminal.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: O'Neill, C.
Date: 2011
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 09:35
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2017 09:58
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/241

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