S. Lusinga, M. Kyobe

University of Cape Town (SOUTH AFRICA)
Mobile victimization is one form of cyber aggression, which is increasing, affecting many young people today. While studies on cyber-bullying and cyber victimisation exist, the focus on mobile victimization is limited. In addition, findings reported in earlier studies have also been inconclusive and limited theory development exist to enhance conceptualisation and general understanding of this form of aggression. Calls have therefore been made to investigate further mobile aggression and victimisation.

The present study aims to create better understanding of the nature of mobile victimisation in South African High schools. Through an extensive review of literature and theoretical works on victimisation, a typology was developed. This typology is based on the premise that; frequency of mobile phone use, the advancement of the mobile phone and attachment to the mobile phone are key predictors of mobile victimisation. In addition, it predicts that the extent to which a victim contributes to their own victimisation and categorises victims into:
(i) innocent victims (victims who do not contribute to their own victimisation),
(ii) victims with low contribution (those who make limited contribution to their own victimisation) and
(iii) victims with moderate to high contribution (those who contribute largely to their own victimisation).

This typology was then tested in an empirical study involving 5128 high school students from 14 schools in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape of South Africa. The results of a regression analysis confirm that the frequency of mobile use and attachment to mobile phone predict mobile victimisation. All the three categories of victims were identified, although category (ii) was the most common in South Africa.

Furthermore, T-test results revealed that while gender does not have significant influence on victimisation in category:
(i) victims, it influences categories
(ii) and
(iii) victims.

Correlation analysis also revealed a significant association between frequent use of chat-rooms and category (iii) victims (i.e. students who highly contribute to their own victimisation).

These results are discussed further in this paper.