Date of Award

Spring 2008

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Internet victimization of children is a recent phenomenon that is now widely studied. The various predictors of Internet victimization have received less attention. My study measures Online Interpersonal Victimization, which includes harassment and sexual solicitations. I analyze victimization using the Family Context model and Routine Activities and Lifestyles Theory to examine how relationships with parents contribute to youth victimization.

This study uses 2005 data from the Youth Internet Safety Survey (YISS2), a nationally representative sample of youth Internet users and their parents. Survey participants (N=1500) were regular Internet users between the ages of 10 and 17. It was hypothesized that poor family relationships increases victimization likelihood. Several of the original hypotheses were supported. Regression analyses revealed that female and older youths were more likely to report online interpersonal victimization. However, the stronger predictors were high parental conflict and physical abuse by parents, both of which more than doubled the chances of reporting an Online Interpersonal Victimization. I conclude with recommendations for how parents can keep youths safe while using the Internet.