How do high-risk youth use the internet? Characteristics and implications for prevention


Using data from the Second Youth Internet Safety Survey, a nationally representative telephone survey of 1,500 youth Internet users (ages 10 to 17), this study explores differences in Internet use characteristics between high risk youth and other Internet users. Those youth who engaged in aggressive behavior online and those who used the Internet on a cell phone were about twice as likely to be classified as high risk (having experienced high parent conflict or child maltreatment) as compared to other Internet users. Those youth who talked with known friends online were significantly less likely to be included in the high risk group. Controlling for demographic and Internet use characteristics, youth who received an aggressive sexual solicitation were almost 2.5 times as likely to report experiencing physical abuse, sexual abuse or high parent conflict. Implications for prevention are discussed, including avenues for reaching high risk populations of youth.


Social Work

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Child Maltreatment


Sage Publications

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