ERIC Number: EJ788642
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Are Blogs Putting Youth at Risk for Online Sexual Solicitation or Harassment?
Mitchell, Kimberly J.; Wolak, Janis; Finkelhor, David
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v32 n2 p277-294 Feb 2008
Objective: In light of public concern about the dangers to young people from maintaining online journals or "blogs," this exploratory paper examines whether bloggers are at increased risk for online sexual solicitation or harassment. Method: A national telephone survey of 1,500 youth Internet users, ages 10-17, conducted between March and June 2005. Results: Sixteen percent of youth Internet users reported blogging in the past year. Teenagers and girls were the most common bloggers, and bloggers were more likely than other youth to post personal information online. However, bloggers were "not" more likely to interact with people they met online and did not know in person. Youth who interacted with people they met online, regardless of whether (AOR=2.42, p less than 0.01) or not (AOR=2.36, p less than 0.001) they blogged, had higher odds of receiving online sexual solicitations. Bloggers who did not interact with people they met online were at "no" increased risk for sexual solicitation (AOR=1.41, ns). Moreover, posting personal information did not add to risk. However, youthful bloggers were at increased risk for online harassment, regardless of whether they also interacted with others online (AOR=2.65, p less than 0.01) or not (AOR=2.55, p less than 0.01). Conclusion: Prevention messages about blogging need to directly address the risks of interacting with people youth meet online and the risk of online harassment.
Descriptors: Electronic Publishing, Web Sites, Telephone Surveys, Youth, Antisocial Behavior, Sexual Abuse, Risk, Internet
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A