Online harassment in context: Trends from three youth internet safety surveys (2000, 2005, 2010)
Objective: The current study examines an increase in youth online harassment over the last decade in order to better explore the implications of the trend for prevention initiatives. Method: The Youth Internet Safety Surveys (YISSs) involved 3 cross-sectional, nationally representative telephone surveys of 4,561 youth Internet users, ages 10 to 17, in 2000 (n = 1,501), 2005 (n = 1,500), and 2010 (n = 1,560). Results: The increase in youth online harassment from 6% in 2000 to 11% in 2010 was driven primarily by a rise in indirect harassment-someone posting or sending comments to others about them online. Girls made up an increasing proportion of victims: 69% of victims were girls in 2010 compared with 48% in 2000. Furthermore, in comparison with earlier in the decade, harassment incidents in 2010 were more likely to come from a school friend or acquaintance and occur on a social networking site. Victims reported disclosing harassment incidents to school staff at greater rates in 2010 than in 2005 or 2000. Conclusions: The increase in online harassment can likely be attributed to changes in how youth are using the Internet, especially a disproportional increase in online communication with friends by girls, providing more opportunity for offline peer conflicts to expand to this environment. School-based prevention programs aimed at improving peer relationships and reducing bullying are recommended to reduce online harassment.
Psychology of Violence
American Psychological Association
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Jones, L.M., Mitchell, K.J., Finkelhor, D. Online harassment in context: Trends from three youth internet safety surveys (2000, 2005, 2010). (2013) Psychology of Violence, 3 (1), pp. 53-69.
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