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Romance Scam Research Center

2021: FI: Cybercrime Victimization and Problematic Social Media Use: Findings from a Nationally Representative Panel Study

Marttila Eetu; Koivula Aki; Räsänen Pekka.  American Journal of Criminal Justice : AJCJ; Louisville Vol. 46, Iss. 6, (Dec 2021): 862-881. DOI:10.1007/s12103-021-09665-2


Abstract: "According to criminological research, online environments create new possibilities for criminal activity and deviant behavior. Problematic social media use (PSMU) is a habitual pattern of excessive use of social media platforms. Past research has suggested that PSMU predicts risky online behavior and negative life outcomes, but the relationship between PSMU and cybercrime victimization is not properly understood. In this study, we use the framework of routine activity theory (RAT) and lifestyle-exposure theory (LET) to examine the relationship between PSMU and cybercrime victimization. We analyze how PSMU is linked to cybercrime victimization experiences. We explore how PSMU predicts cybercrime victimization, especially under those risky circumstances that generally increase the probability of victimization. Our data come from nationally representative surveys, collected in Finland in 2017 and 2019. The results of the between-subjects tests show that problematic PSMU correlates relatively strongly with cybercrime victimization. Within-subjects analysis shows that increased PSMU increases the risk of victimization. Overall, the findings indicate that, along with various confounding factors, PSMU has a notable cumulative effect on victimization. The article concludes with a short summary and discussion of the possible avenues for future research on PSMU and cybercrime victimization."

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