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Being Pursued Online: Applying Cyberlifestyle-Routine Activities Theory to Cyberstalking Victimization

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume: 38 Issue: 11 Dated: November 2011 Pages: 1149-1169
Bradford W. Reyns; Billy Henson; Bonnie S. Fisher
Date Published
21 pages
This study examined the cyberlifestyle-routine activities theory to explain cyberstalking victimization.
Building upon Eck and Clarke's (2003) ideas for explaining crimes in which there is no face-to-face contact between victims and offenders, the authors developed an adapted lifestyle-routine activities theory. Traditional conceptions of place-based environments depend on the convergence of victims and offenders in time and physical space to explain opportunities for victimization. With their proposed cyberlifestyle-routine activities theory, the authors moved beyond this conceptualization to explain opportunities for victimization in cyberspace environments where traditional conceptions of time and space are less relevant. Cyberlifestyle-routine activities theory was tested using a sample of 974 college students on a particular type of cybervictimizationcyberstalking. The study's findings provide support for the adapted theoretical perspective. Specifically, variables measuring online exposure to risk, online proximity to motivated offenders, online guardianship, online target attractiveness, and online deviance were significant predictors of cyberstalking victimization. Implications for advancing cyberlifestyle-routine activities theory are discussed. (Published Abstract)