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Working title of PhD: Investigating perpetration of online sexual harassment: Who are the perpetrators and what are the main predictors of sexual harassment online?

Institution: Edinburgh Napier University

Full or part-time: Full-time

Year Commenced: 2021

Funding: Self-funded

PhD Supervisors: Adam Mahoney and Shane Horgan

Synopsis:

This thesis focused on profiling adult perpetrators of online sexual harassment (OSH) and attempting to understand better why people engage in deviant behaviour online. As there is a current lack of research on perpetrators of OSH, this study took an exploratory approach, which started with a systematic literature review and meta-analysis to examine the extant research and prevalence of OSH perpetration and victimisation. The literature review identified a lack of methods to measure OSH perpetration, so this study constructed an OSH proclivity scale. There were three data collection stages, and a mixed methods approach was taken. The first data collection stage analysed messages and posts from perpetrators of OSH using content analysis to develop scale items for the OSH proclivity scale. A pilot survey and exploratory factor analysis were used to test the scale items, and the final scale was confirmed using confirmatory factor analysis of data from a second survey. The second survey included scale items which measured environmental, personal and social factors associated with OSH. A logistic regression model was used to examine the main predictors of OSH proclivity and a profile of perpetrators was constructed using a latent class analysis.

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Institution:

Edinburgh Napier University

Research Themes

New Media, Surveillance and Technology

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