This project aimed to expand knowledge about the types of violence and abuse youth have experienced through technology (e.g., social networking sites and texting on cell phones), as well as how the experience of such cyber abuse within teen dating relationships or through bullying relates to other life factors.
The study found that 26 percent of youth in a dating relationship had experienced some form of cyber dating abuse in the previous year. Females were twice as likely as males to report being a victim of sexual cyber dating abuse in the previous year. Twelve percent of youth in a dating relationship said they had perpetrated cyber dating abuse in the previous year. Females reported greater levels of nonsexual cyber dating abuse perpetration than males. On the other hand, males were significantly more likely to report perpetrating sexual cyber dating abuse. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth reported significantly higher rates of cyber dating abuse and perpetration than heterosexual youth. Eighty-four percent of cyber dating abuse victims also reported psychological dating abuse; 52 percent who reported being physical cyber dating abuse perpetrators also reported perpetrating psychological dating abuse; 55 percent reported perpetrating physical dating violence; and 11 percent reported sexual coercion perpetration. Less than 1 out of 10 victims of dating abuse reported seeking help, with half as many male victims as female victims seeking help. Seventeen percent of youth reported being victims of cyber bullying, with females experiencing significantly higher victimization rates than males. LGBTQ youth reported significantly higher rates of cyber bullying victimization and perpetration than heterosexual youth. Recommendations focus on ways that schools and parents can assist in preventing and mitigating the harms caused by cyber dating abuse and bullying. Extensive tables and appended survey instrument
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