Exploring the Role of Self-Control Across Distinct Patterns of Cyber-Deviance in Emerging Adolescence

Tyson Whitten, Jesse Cale, Russell Brewer, Katie Logos, Thomas J Holt, Andrew Goldsmith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A disproportionally large number of adolescents engage in cyber-deviance. However, it is unclear if distinct patterns of adolescent cyber-deviance are evident, and if so, whether and to what extent low self-control is associated with different patterns of cyber-deviance. The current study addressed this research gap by examining the relationship between self-control and distinct latent classes of adolescent cyber-deviance net of potential confounders among a cross-sectional sample of 1793 South Australian adolescents. Four latent classes were identified, each characterized by varying probabilities of involvement in six types of cyber-deviance that were measured. The versatile class ( n  = 413) had the lowest average level of self-control, followed by the harmful content users ( n  = 439) and digital piracy ( n  = 356) classes, with the abstainer class ( n  = 585) characterized by the highest self-control. Analysis of covariance indicated that the abstainer group had significantly higher self-control than other classes of cyber-deviance. Although the versatile class had noticeably lower average self-control scores than the harmful content users and digital piracy groups, this difference was not significant after correcting for multiple comparisons. Collectively, these findings suggest that self-control appears to distinguish between those who do and do not engage in cyber-deviance but may not distinguish between distinct patterns of cyber-deviance net of other factors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 04 Jan 2024


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