The Anti-Social Network: Cyberstalking Victimization among College Students

By Bradford W. Reyns | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Researching the Problem of
Cyberstalking

As stated previously, the purposes of this study are threefold: (1) to estimate the extent of cyberstalking victimization among a sample of college students from a large urban university in the Midwest; (2) to utilize the lifestyle-exposure and routine activity theory perspectives to determine the correlates and risk factors for cyberstalking victimization (i.e., in terms of lifestyles and routine activities of college students); and, (3) to assess whether the lifestyle-routine activities perspective can successfully be adapted to explain victimization in virtual environments. Since few empirical estimates of cyberstalking have been published and most of these done rely heavily on nonprobability samples, the current study estimates of cyberstalking victimization represent an improvement over past work. These estimates are derived from a more methodologically solid research design than what has been utilized in many previous studies.

In addition, lifestyle-routine activities theory has not been applied to cybercrimes nearly to the extent that it has to other types of crime (e.g., personal, property), and thus far it has not been applied to the study of cyberstalking victimization. Doing so helps identify risk factors for cyberstalking victimization, and aids in crime prevention education and application aimed at reducing incidents of victimization. This theoretical approach has received considerable support in explaining place-based forms of crime (e.g., burglary), but there is much less certainty about its usefulness in explaining cybercrimes. The current study is among the first to address the issue of whether lifestyle-routine activities theory is restricted to explaining place-based forms of crime,

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