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Adolescents’ Exposure to Online Risks: Gender Disparities and Vulnerabilities Related to Online Behaviors

NCJ Number
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Volume: 18 Issue: 11 Dated: 2021 Pages: 5786
Date Published
1 page

This article reports the findings and methodology of a cross-sectional online eight-question survey of a convenience sample of 733 8th and 9th grade students in Utah to determine their exposure to three types of online risk scenarios: content risk, contact risk, and criminal risk.


In the last decade, readily available electronic devices have created unprecedented opportunities for teens to access a wide variety of information and media–both positive and negative–on the internet. Despite the increasing number of initiatives taking place worldwide intended to assess and mitigate the online risks encountered by children and adolescents, there is still a need for a better understanding of how adolescents use the internet and their susceptibility to exposure to risks in the online space. For the current survey, logistic and negative binomial regression models indicated that gender, social media use, and chatting with strangers were associated with exposure to multiple risky online scenarios. These survey results provide critical information to educators involved in the development of initiatives that focus on the reduction of youth online risk by identifying correlates of risky online events, enabling them to tailor their initiatives to meet the needs of potentially vulnerable populations. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2021