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ERIC Number: EJ1168334
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-4391
Sexting, Risk Behavior, and Mental Health in Adolescents: An Examination of 2015 Pennsylvania Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data
Frankel, Anne S.; Bass, Sarah Bauerle; Patterson, Freda; Dai, Ting; Brown, Deanna
Journal of School Health, v88 n3 p190-199 Mar 2018
Background: Sexting, the sharing of sexually suggestive photos, may be a gateway behavior to early sexual activity and increase the likelihood of social ostracism. Methods: Youth Risk Behavior Survey (N = 6021) data from 2015 among Pennsylvania 9th-12th grade students were used to examine associations between consensual and nonconsensual sexting and substance use, mental health, neighborhood safety, and demographic variables. Results: Almost one-third (29%) of students reported consensual sexting, while 3% reported nonconsensual sexting. Female students were 49% less likely to report consensual sexting (OR = 0.69, 95% confidence interval [CI]: [0.54, 0.87]); consensual sexting was significantly more likely in students who reported depressive symptoms (OR = 1.39, 95% CI: [1.10, 1.75]), electronic bullying (OR = 1.46, 95% CI: [1.05, 2.04]), suicide attempts (OR = 1.96, 95% CI: [1.22, 3.17]), current tobacco use (OR = 1.99, 95% CI: [1.30, 3.03]), current alcohol use (OR = 4.23, 95% CI: [3.04, 5.89]), ever having sex (OR = 5.21, 95% CI: [3.87, 7.02]), and reported both ever having sex, and current alcohol use (OR = 7.74, 95% CI: [5.37, 11.14]). Conclusions: High school students, particularly men, that report sexting may be more likely to participate in other risk behaviors and experience negative mental health outcomes. Further research should clarify the temporality of links between sexting, cyberbullying, depression, and suicide to inform mental health screening and treatment availability in high schools.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (DHHS/PHS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Youth Risk Behavior Survey
Grant or Contract Numbers: CDCRFAPS131308