The relationships between cyber bullying perpetration motives and personality traits: Testing uses and gratifications theory

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2015




This study aimed to examine the interplay between personality traits (online disinhibition, moral disengagement, narcissism and aggression) and cyber bullying perpetration motives (entertainment, revenge, harm and dominance). A structural equation model which was built in accordance with the Uses and Gratifications Theory was tested. Cyber bully-victims (n= 598) were the participants who were university students (61.3% were males) attending state universities and ranging in age from 17 to 27. Data collection instruments were Revised Cyber Bullying Inventory for University Students, Cyber bullying Perpetration Motives Scale, Online Disinhibition Scale, Propensity to Morally Disengage Scale, 16-items Narcissistic Personality Inventory, 12-item Aggression Questionnaire besides a demographic information form. The tested model provided empirical support for the applicability of the Uses and Gratifications Theory as a theoretical framework in understanding cyber bullying perpetration. According to the results of the structural equation model test, online disinhibition was the single personality trait variable to be related to cyber bullying others for entertainment. Moral disengagement and aggression were the two variables associated with the revenge motive of cyber bullying perpetration. While moral disengagement and aggression were positively linked with cyber bullying others for harm, online disinhibition was negatively related to the harm motive of cyber bullying perpetration. Moral disengagement and narcissism were the two personality trait variables associated with the dominance motive of cyber bullying perpetration. Results were discussed in the light of the existing literature, and implications for theory, research, practice and policy were presented in addition to the recommendations for the future studies.