The Society for Social Work and Research

2014 Annual Conference

January 15-19, 2014 I Grand Hyatt San Antonio I San Antonio, TX

Development and Initial Validation of the Cyber Bullying Behavior Scale (CBBS)

Friday, January 17, 2014: 4:30 PM
HBG Convention Center, Room 003B River Level (San Antonio, TX)
* noted as presenting author
Jungup Lee, MSW, Research Assistant, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Background and Purpose: Cyber bullying represents a new and alarming form of bullying that potentially results in severe and long-lasting consequences for young people. The literature shows cyber bullying experiences in childhood are associated with those behaviors among emerging adults aged 18 to 25. However, most previous studies focus on cyber bullying for children or adolescents. There is a dearth of research on the assessment of cyber bullying behaviors among young adults. This study aims to close this gap by assessing the development and validation of the Cyber Bullying Behavior Scale (CBSS) for application in social work research and practice settings.

Methods: Eight expert panelists were invited to refine the item pools and to critique the fit between proposed items and their intended construct definitions. Based on content validity evidence, a pool of 79 CBBS items was constructed. Next, data was collected on a purposive sample of 345 undergraduate students aged 18 to 25, enrolled in social work, criminology, and other social science disciplines at a major public university in the southeastern United States. Both in-person and online surveys were utilized. The survey included the CBBS, a demographic questionnaire, and two validated scales for construct validity evidence. The final sample was 286 usable cases. Psychometric analyses consisted of Cronbach’s alpha and the stratified coefficient alpha for examination of internal consistency, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to examine the hypothesized multidimensional structures of cyber bullying perpetration and victimization, and inspection of correlations and effect sizes testing construct validation hypotheses.

Results: Following examination of missing values and frequency distributions, a 47-item final version of the CBBS emerged including two domains and three subscales. The global stratified alpha scores for the CBP (α = .93) and CBV (α = .95), and Cronbach’s alpha scores for each subscale (ranging from .86 to .92) remained strong indicators. Only one reliability coefficient (visual/sexual perpetration, α = .73) might be classified as marginally acceptable. The results of CFA for the respecified models of CBP and CBV met target goodness-of-fit criteria with χ2/df (ratio = 1.97 and 2.86, respectively), CFI (.95 and .97, respectively), TLI (.94 and .95, respectively), RMSEA (.08 and .08, respectively), and SRMR (.06 and .07, respectively). All convergent validity indicators were significantly correlated with their respective CBP and CBV global and subscales. As hypothesized, the majority of discriminant validity indicators was not significantly correlated with the CBP and CBV global and subscales.

Conclusions and Implications: The findings suggest that the CBBS provides a valid and reliable measure of young adults’ bullying perpetration. The CBBS has solid potential for social work research and clinical settings. Using the CBBS in future research and applications in clinical fields might enhance confidence in researchers’ and clinicians’ capability to better understand and effectively respond to both antecedents and consequences of cyber bullying experience.