Mary Macharia PhD, CMIS Department Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
Mary Dunaway PhD, Information Science and Systems Department Morgan State University


Digital citizenship is a term used to refer to opportunities that encourage online participation and civic engagement. In that regard, digital citizens are individuals who use the Internet regularly and effectively and espouse norms that reflect responsible and appropriate behavior; and further demonstrate their citizenship through online participation and online civic engagement. However, despite the importance of promoting socially responsible citizenship in the Internet age, there has been an upsurge of negative online behaviors, including cyberbullying and online harassment. While extant literature on digital citizenship has, for the most part, focused on education practices and the measures of digital citizenship. A majority of the research has linked cyberbullying and negative online behaviors to online learning and participation in the context of young people and K-12 students. However, little is known about the implications of digital citizenship on negative online behaviors, specifically cyberbullying and online harassment in higher education settings, gender differences, and on society as a whole. This study examines these relationships, and future research will explore the role of espoused cultural norms.