Research on Finnish Society (10:2017)

Trust and victimization: A cross-national comparison of Finland, the U.S., Germany and UK

Matti Näsi, Pekka Räsänen, Teo Keipi & Atte Oksanen
University of Helsinki, University of Turku, University of Tampere

This study examines the relationship between average means of generalized trust on two groups of social connections, namely people in general and people only met online, and respondents' past experiences with online and offline victimization. Our data was collected from four countries, Finland, the U.S., Germany and UK from participants aged 15-30 years. Each country was analyzed separately using OLS regression models. Our findings indicated that offline victimization had a negative association with perceived trust in people in general in all four countries. Online victimization was negatively associated with trust in people in general only in Finland and Germany. Trust towards people only met online was not as clearly associated with online and offline victimization, but in the U.S. and UK online victims reported higher trust. Gender, age, social activity, residence area and age also indicated country level differences in terms of their association with trust.

Keywords: trust, victimization, internet, cross-national, survey