The goal of the present study was to investigate the relationship between cyber dating abuse and self-esteem in a sample of emerging adults (i.e., those within the period from the late teens through the twenties; Arnett, 2000).More specifically, our goal was to examine how reactions of emotional distress could mediate or explain the expected relationship between the experience of cyber dating abuse and decreased self-esteem (Katz, Arias, & Beach, 2000; Traditionally, definitions of dating abuse have included physical, psychological or sexual harm occurring between two people in a romantic relationship (Iconis, 2013; Stader, 2011).Using traditional definitions of physical, emotional, and sexual dating abuse, studies have found lowered self-esteem, increased feelings of inferiority, and self-defeating beliefs among victims (Göncü & Sümer, 2011; Longmore & Demaris, 1997; Sawangchareon et al., 2013).
Cyber dating abuse overlaps with other forms of dating violence, particularly psychological and emotional abuse; perpetrators who engage in these forms of offline abuse are also more likely to engage in online dating abuse (Borrajo, Gamez-Guadix & Calvete, 2015).
with dating experience and a minimum relationship duration of 3 months.
Self-report assessments of cyber dating abuse, self-esteem, and emotional distress from the relationship were completed.
First, technology is quite accessible and relatively easy to use, making these behaviors quick and easy to execute.
Second, the electronic medium allows the perpetrator to easily turn private matters public, thus intensifying the victim’s feelings of vulnerability.