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Technology-Involved Harassment Victimization: Placement in a Broader Victimization Context

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2015
28 pages
This study examined the use and effects of perpetrating harassment with technology within the context of other types of youth victimization, risk, and protective factors, based on a national survey of a subset of 791 youth (ages 10-20) who participated in the Second National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence conducted in 2011-2012.
Thirty-four percent of youth reported 311 harassment incidents in the past year. Fifty-four percent of the incidents involved no technology (in-person only); 15 percent involved only technology, and 31 percent involved both technology and in-person harassment (mixed incidents). The analysis found that mixed incidents were more likely to have an overall negative emotional impact, even after adjusting for other incident characteristics predictive of emotional harm. Youth who experienced mixed harassment reported the highest average number of different types of victimization 2 years prior and were more likely to have experienced multiple victimizations (34 percent). Multiple victims were over four times more likely than those with a single victimization to have experienced mixed harassment 2 years later. The number of prior adverse life events was also predictive of mixed harassment. Youth victimized by mixed harassment were more likely to be female and live in a household with higher socioeconomic status; they were less likely to live with both biological parents. These findings should relieve concerns about possible inherently harmful features of technology, since incidents of technology-only harassment were among the least problematic and upsetting to youth. Youth who report mixed technology and in-person harassment should be a priority for education and prevention. 13 references, 7 tables, and a listing of scholarly products based on this study

Date Published: June 1, 2015