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Front Psychol. 2018 Feb 12;9:126. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00126. eCollection 2018.

How Much Do Adolescents Cybergossip? Scale Development and Validation in Spain and Colombia.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Universidad de Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain.
2
Department of Psychology, Universidad de Nariño, San Juan de Pasto, Colombia.
3
Department of Psychology, Social Work and Counselling, University of Greenwich, London, United Kingdom.
4
Department of Development and Educational Psychology, Universidad de Sevilla, Seville, Spain.

Abstract

Cybergossip is the act of two or more people making evaluative comments via digital devices about somebody who is not present. This cyberbehavior affects the social group in which it occurs and can either promote or hinder peer relationships. Scientific studies that assess the nature of this emerging and interactive behavior in the virtual world are limited. Some research on traditional gossip has identified it as an inherent and defining element of indirect relational aggression. This paper adopts and argues for a wider definition of gossip that includes positive comments and motivations. This work also suggests that cybergossip has to be measured independently from traditional gossip due to key differences when it occurs through ICT. This paper presents the Colombian and Spanish validation of the Cybergossip Questionnaire for Adolescents (CGQ-A), involving 3,747 high school students (M = 13.98 years old, SD = 1.69; 48.5% male), of which 1,931 were Colombian and 1,816 were Spanish. Test models derived from item response theory, confirmatory factor analysis, content validation, and multi-group analysis were run on the full sample and subsamples for each country and both genders. The obtained optimal fit and psychometric properties confirm the robustness and suitability of a one-dimensional structure for the cybergossip instrument. The multi-group analysis shows that the cybergossip construct is understood similarly in both countries and between girls and boys. The composite reliability ratifies convergent and divergent validity of the scale. Descriptive results show that Colombian adolescents gossip less than their Spanish counterparts and that boys and girls use cybergossip to the same extent. As a conclusion, this study confirmes the relationship between cybergossip and cyberbullying, but it also supports a focus on positive cybergossip in psychoeducational interventions to build positive virtual relationships and prevent risky cyberbehaviors.

KEYWORDS:

adolescence; cross-cultural; cybergossip; gender; gossip; psychometric properties; self-report

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