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International Journal of Bullying Prevention


Springer Nature Switzerland AG

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Cyberaggression is a substantial problem for college-aged students. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to examine associations between social cognitive factors and digitally sharing one’s own and others’ overt and relational cyberaggressive material among college students. Social cognitive factors included cyber moral disengagement and facets of cognitive autonomy, including comparative validation, voicing opinions, and evaluative thinking. A convenience sample of 437 college students from a medium-sized US university completed an online survey about cyber aggression and related social cognitive factors. Results from a structural equation model, controlling for gender, showed that cyber moral disengagement was positively associated with sharing own and others’ overt and relational cyberaggressive material. Sharing one’s own and others’ relational cyberaggression was positively associated with comparative validation but was negatively associated with evaluative thinking. The present research reinforces prior links between moral disengagement and cyberaggression while examining other social cognitive factors associated with cyberaggression and assisting cyberaggression perpetrators.