Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/51590

Cyberbullying on Facebook and Psychosocial Adjustment in Malaysian Adolescents

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Title: Cyberbullying on Facebook and Psychosocial Adjustment in Malaysian Adolescents
Authors: Choo, Mei Sze
Keywords: Cyberbullying
Facebook
Psychosocial Adjustment
Malaysia
Adolescents
Issue Date: Dec 2016
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2016]
Abstract: Cyberbullying is a phenomenon that has attracted attention in the past decade leading to heavy research investigating its prevalence, antecedents, and consequences. However, there remained many limitations in previous studies that were not addressed. The current study extended this line of research to a non-Western context, Malaysia, and focused on cyberbullying on Facebook, the most popular social media platform among adolescents around the world. Specifically, this investigation addressed three research questions: (1.) whether experiences of cyberbullying on Facebook were common among Malaysian adolescents; (2.) how cyberbullying on Facebook was associated with psychosocial adjustment, and (3.) how the relation between cyberbullying on Facebook and psychosocial adjustment varied in accordance with factors such as characterological self-blame among victims of cyberbullying, anonymity of cyberbully, and friend support for victims of cyberbullying. Participants were 119 high school students recruited from two public high schools in Penang, and Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, who completed measures of cyberbullying and psychosocial adjustment over a period of three months, including pre-, weekly, and post- assessment. Evidence of cyberbullying happening amongst Malaysian adolescents were found in the current study. Demographic variables such as socio economic status, and gender, along with pre-measures of cyberbullying, and psychosocial adjustment were controlled before proceeding with the analyses for the remaining hypothesis. Results did not support the hypothesis that cyberbullying was prevalent in Malaysia. Correlations showed frequent usage of Facebook which was negatively related to cyberbullying. Confirmatory factor analyses supported the distinction between private and public forms of cyberbullying on Facebook. Results of regression analyses demonstrated that public and private forms of cyberbullying on Facebook were distinctly related to psychosocial adjustment. Public forms of cyberbullying on Facebook was positively associated with depression and negatively related to social anxiety whereas private forms of cyberbullying was associated with an increase in social anxiety. Results did not support the hypotheses for characterological self-blame and friendship quality as moderators but provided evidence for the moderating role of anonymity of cyberbullies. Specifically, the interactions between public forms of cyberbullying and anonymity of cyberbullies were found for depression, social anxiety, and self-esteem, but the direction of interaction was opposite to what was predicted for self-esteem. Taken together, the findings of this study suggest that cyberbullying on Facebook happens amongst Malaysian adolescents with relatively low frequency but in both public and private forms. Furthermore, public and private forms of cyberbullying on Facebook seem to have distinct effects on psychosocial adjustment for Malaysian adolescents and some of these effects appear to vary depending on whether the victim knows the identity of cyberbullies. These results highlight the importance of identifying protective and risk factors in understanding effects of cyberbullying on psychological well-being among adolescents across different cultures.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/51590
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Psychology


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