Racism in Digital Era: Development and Initial Validation of the Perceived Online Racism Scale (PORS v1.0)

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to develop the Perceived Online Racism Scale (PORS) to assess perceived online racist interpersonal interactions and exposure to online racist content among people of color. Items were developed through a multistage process involving a comprehensive literature review, focus-groups, qualitative data collection, and survey of online racism experiences. Based on a sample of 1,023 racial minority participants, exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses provided support for a 30-item bifactor model accounted by the general factor and the following 3 specific factors: (a) personal experience of racial cyber-aggression, (b) vicarious exposure to racial cyber-aggression, and (c) online-mediated exposure to racist reality. The PORS demonstrated measurement invariance across racial/ethnic groups in our sample. Internal reliability estimates for the total and subscale scores of the PORS were above .88 and the 4-week test–retest reliability was adequate. Limitations and future directions for research are discussed.

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