Cyberbullying of Adult BTS Fans and Its Influence on Wellbeing
Fund Award Amount
Adult fans of K-Pop band BTS are part of a diverse and global fandom that has an evident psychological sense of community with associated membership psychosocial benefits such as increases in wellbeing. This psychological sense of community is largely facilitated by the use of digital technologies and online spaces where fans engage with each other often to participate in transnational fan activism. The present study aimed to investigate if cyberbullying victimization is disruptive to the relationship between BTS fan psychological sense of (virtual) community and their global wellbeing using an online co-designed survey administered to 183 participants. There was a significant positive relationship found between BTS fan psychological sense of (virtual) community and wellbeing. The results of a moderation statistical test were interpreted as cyberbullying victimization not interfering with this positive relationship despite cyberbullying typically having detrimental effects on interpersonal relationships generally. It was concluded that adult BTS fans may have an increased psychological sense of (virtual) community partly due to competent anti-cyberbullying and online safety practices carried out in online BTS fan communities. Implications for anti-cyberbullying researchers and cyberbullying prevention efforts are also discussed.
To produce an academic paper which will inform the research concerning the intersection of cyberbullying and fandom.
There is a manuscript under review