Empathy, self-control, and online harassment: A partial test of Agnew's social concern theory

Jaeyong Choi, Nathan Kruis, Julak Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

In conceptualizing Social Concern Theory, Robert Agnew argued that social concern can serve as a protective factor against crime and influence the relationship between traditional correlates of crime (e.g., low self-control) and patterns of criminal offending. The current study provides a partial test of Social Concern Theory by examining the effect of one element of social concern (i.e., empathy) on online harassment perpetration among a sample of 1091 South Korean adolescents. Consideration is given to both the direct and indirect effects of social concern (i.e., empathy) on online harassment perpetration, as well as the potential interaction effects between social concern and low self-control. Consistent with theoretically-driven propositions, the results from multivariate modeling show that there are direct and indirect effects of social concern (i.e., empathy) on online harassment perpetration. Inconsistent with theoretical underpinnings, results suggest that social concern has no effect on the relationship between low self-control and online harassment perpetration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107402
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume136
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • General Psychology

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