Kweilin Lucas

Date of Award

Summer 8-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Criminology and Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Shannon Phaneuf, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Daniel Lee, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Alida Merlo, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Sadie Mummert, Ph.D.


This study examined the extent of cyber-bullying among college students and how well Ronald Akers’ Social Learning Theory predicted cyber-bullying perpetration. In addition, this study explored students’ use of media and the characteristics associated with involvement in cyber-bullying behaviors as victims, perpetrators, and observers. Approximately 10%, 37%, and 53% of the study sample (n=296) experienced cyber-bullying perpetration, victimization, and observation respectively. Negative binomial regression analyses revealed that social learning variables were not associated with cyber-bullying perpetration or observation; however, the theory provided some support for the prediction of cyber-bullying victimization. Additionally, socioeconomic status and race were statistically related to cyber-bullying perpetration, while age and prior victimization were associated with cyber-bullying victimization. Implications for Social Learning Theory, future research, and policy are discussed.