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Sexual solicitation and harassment on the Internet and the mental health of young people

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  • 92% of 12-17 year olds use the Internet for emailing (Lenhart, Rainie, & Lewis, 2002). Further, it is frequently cited as the activity for which a young person uses the Internet (Finkelhor, Mitchell & Wolak).
    Health info includes HIV/AIDS (31%), drug or alcohol abuse (25%), sexually transmitted disease (24%), smoking (23%), pregnancy or birth control (21%) and depression or mental illness (18%).
  • Communication is the most popular
    ¾ of youth between 12 and 17 Instant Message (Lenhart, Rainie, & Lewis, 2002).
  • Communication is the most popular
    ¾ of youth between 12 and 17 Instant Message (Lenhart, Rainie, & Lewis, 2002).
  • Females are significantly more likely than males to search for health information online (Gould, Munfakh, Lubell et al., 2002)
  • Recently, public health research and public policy attention has focused on the potential influence the Internet may have on youth behavior and development (e.g., Finkelhor, Mitchell & Wolak, 2000; Congress’ Children’s Internet Protection Act, 2000; Whitehouse press release, 2002; Lenhart, Rainie & Lewis, 2001)
    Most report positive experiences:
    Tool for increased communication and social connectivity by youth (National Public Radio, Kaiser Family Foundation, Harvard School of Public Policy, 2000; Lenhart, Rainie & Lewis, 2001)
    Access important health information online that youth may not feel comfortable talking about with an adult (Borzekowski & Rickert, 2001; Kaiser Family Foundation, 2001; Lenhart, Rainie, & Lewis, 2001).
    Still, concerns about potential negative online exposures cited by parents, and to a lesser extent, youth.(UCLA Center for Communication Policy, 2001; NPR, Kiser Family Foundation, Harvard School of Public Policy, 2000; Lenhart, Rainie, & Lewis, 2001):
    Contact with inappropriate material, sexual solicitation, harassment by others online
    Distraction from important offline activities are frequently
  • lifetime prevalence rates of child sexual abuse for males to be 16% and for females, 27% (Finkelhor, 1994).
  • Correlates of in-person bullying behavior, a reference point for online harassment, report a significant relationship between being a victim of bullying and depressive symptomatology cross-sectionally (Hawker & Boulton, 2000; Haynie, Nansel & Eitel et al., 2001) as well as over time (Kaltiala-Heino, Rimpela, Rantanen & Rimpela, 2000).
    The majority of literature focuses on in-person sexual behavior; while different from sexual solicitation, it provides a general framework for the possible associations between depression and online sexual solicitation. Community-based research indicates depressive symptoms may be related to increased risk for subsequent sexual abuse (Boney-McCoy & Finkelohor, 1996). Further, depressive symptomatology has been linked to risky sexual practices for both males and females (Shrier, Harris, Sternberg et al., 2001). To better understand the possible associations between depression and unwanted sexual solicitation online, additional research is needed.
  • Correlates of in-person bullying behavior, a reference point for online harassment, report a significant relationship between being a victim of bullying and depressive symptomatology cross-sectionally (Hawker & Boulton, 2000; Haynie, Nansel & Eitel et al., 2001) as well as over time (Kaltiala-Heino, Rimpela, Rantanen & Rimpela, 2000).
    The majority of literature focuses on in-person sexual behavior; while different from sexual solicitation, it provides a general framework for the possible associations between depression and online sexual solicitation. Community-based research indicates depressive symptoms may be related to increased risk for subsequent sexual abuse (Boney-McCoy & Finkelohor, 1996). Further, depressive symptomatology has been linked to risky sexual practices for both males and females (Shrier, Harris, Sternberg et al., 2001). To better understand the possible associations between depression and unwanted sexual solicitation online, additional research is needed.
    Internet communication can be challenging
    Non-verbal cues
    One’s state of mind and social interpretive ability more important
    Young people with depressive symptoms generally have challenges effectively identifying social cues, as well as relating to peers in traditional environments
  • Exploratory factor analysis identified a latent variable described as “Interactive Internet activity” (eigenvalue>1). Included variables were: using the Internet (ever) for Instant messaging, emailing, downloading files, updating a web page, connecting to a news group, visiting chat rooms, and looking up movie information; logging onto the Internet from home versus all other places; using the Internet five or more days a week; self-rated Internet expert (almost or definitely) versus being less skilled; and importance of Internet to self (very, extremely) versus less importance. Factor scores were used to categorize respondents into one of three groups: 1) highly interactive (1 or more SD above the mean), 2) average interactive (scores within 1 SD of the mean), and 3) less than average (1 or more SD below the mean; reference group).
    Substance use: Youth respondents were asked about the frequency of five types of substance use in the previous year, including: tobacco, alcohol, inhalants, marijuana, and all other drugs. Each was dichotomized (4 or more times vs. fewer) to put the variables on the same scale as other variables included in the exploratory factor analysis. One factor was identified (eigenvalue>1), which included all five variables. Because of the data distribution of the sum of the five variables, total scores were categorized into three groups: low users (1 or more SD below the mean; reference group), average users (scores within 1 SD of the mean), and heavy users (1 or more SD above the mean).
    Life challenge: Indication of life challenge was also included because of its association with depressive symptoms 5. Thus, interpersonal challenge was noted for young people who reported two or more versus fewer of the following events: being attacked by one person, being attacked by a gang, having something stolen from the young people, being hit by a peer, or by being ‘picked on’ by a peer in the previous year. Further, two or more life challenges (Range: 0-4) in the previous year included the following experiences: death in the immediate family, moving to a new community, caregiver divorce, and loss of job among the caregivers in the previous year.
  • 9 dropped cuz of data requirements, 3 dropped cuz of factor scores
  • Number of close friends; frequency of peer interaction were non-significant
  • Females: OR: 2.3 p=.008; minor depression: 1.83, p=.01
    Males: OR: 5.9, p<.001; minor depression: 1.3, p=.4
  • Logit estimates Number of obs = 283
    Wald chi2(2) = 5.66
    Prob > chi2 = 0.0590
    Log likelihood = -155.53989 Pseudo R2 = 0.0175
    (standard errors adjusted for clustering on id)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | Robust
    distsext | Odds Ratio Std. Err. z P>|z| [95% Conf. Interval]
    -------------+----------------------------------------------------------------
    depmid | 1.781513 .623385 1.65 0.099 .8972994 3.537044
    dephigh | 2.271429 .9198913 2.03 0.043 1.027014 5.023677
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • Number of close friends; frequency of peer interaction were non-significant
  • Females: OR: 1.32 p=.45
    Males: OR: 8.18, p<.001
  • --------------------------
    disthart | Odds Ratio Std. Err. z P>|z| [95% Conf. Interval]
    -------------+----------------------------------------------------------------
    _Idep3_1 | .5733333 .3610585 -0.88 0.377 .1668631 1.969945
    _Idep3_2 | 2.006667 1.225184 1.14 0.254 .6064128 6.640215
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • Depressive sxs are associated with sexual solicitation with males, but not females – even after adjusting for all other significant characteristics
    The especially strong association between depressive symptomatology and Internet sexual solicitation among males may be because they are less prepared to handle an advance. Females are the more frequently the target, and it is possible that some male victims see themselves as being singled out for something that ‘should’ be directed to females. It may be also that males receive less emotional support following the event, either because they are reticent to talk about it with potentially ridiculing peers, or because others dismiss the emotional impact of the event, assuming that it must be less upsetting or even gratifying for the male. Health professionals need to be especially attuned therefore, to the Internet experiences of young men with depressive symptomatology.
  • Sexual solicitation: Depressive sxs are associated with sexual solicitation with males, but not females – even after adjusting for all other significant characteristics
    Internet harassment: Depressive symptomatology important for males, while Internet usage is largely important for females
    The especially strong association between depressive symptomatology and Internet sexual solicitation among males may be because they are less prepared to handle an advance. Females are the more frequently the target, and it is possible that some male victims see themselves as being singled out for something that ‘should’ be directed to females. It may be also that males receive less emotional support following the event, either because they are reticent to talk about it with potentially ridiculing peers, or because others dismiss the emotional impact of the event, assuming that it must be less upsetting or even gratifying for the male. Health professionals need to be especially attuned therefore, to the Internet experiences of young men with depressive symptomatology.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Sexual solicitation and harassment on the Internet and the mental health of young people by Michele Ybarra, MPH PhD University of Otago Department of Social and Preventive Medicine Seminar September 13, 2003 * Thank you for your interest in this presentation. Please note that analyses included herein are preliminary. More recent, finalized analyses can be found in: Ybarra, M., Leaf, P., & Diener-West, M. (2004). Sex differences in youth-reported depressive symptomatology and unwanted internet sexual solicitation. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 6(1), e5, or by contacting CiPHR for further information.
    • 2. Today’s talk outline        General Internet use Youth experiences online Hypothesized links with mental health YISS study methods Findings for sexual solicitation Findings for Internet harassment Questions
    • 3. Youth Internet use characteristics   97% of youth between the ages of 12 and 18 use the Internet (UCLA Center for Communication Policy , 2003) Home Internet access (US Department of Commerce, 2002)   Half of youth 10-13 years old 61% of youth 14-17 years old
    • 4. Youth Internet use characteristics (cont)  The majority of youth use the Internet for an hour or less a day (Finkelhor, Mitchell & Wolak, 2000; Woodard, 2002)  Boys and girls are equally likely to have used the Internet (Rideout, Foehr, Roberts & Brodie, 1999)
    • 5. Internet activities   95% of youth use the Internet for email Rainie, & Lewis, 2002). (Lenhart, 85% of teens use the Internet for school work (US Department of Commerce, 2002)  76% of older teens (15-17 y.o.) have searched for health information (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2001)
    • 6. Internet use for health care information  Somatic health     (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2001) HIV/AIDS: 31% Sexually transmitted diseases: 24% Pregnancy or birth control: 21% Mental health   Drug and alcohol abuse: 25% Depression or mental illness: 18-23% (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2001) Foundation, 2001; Rideout, 2001)   Violence: 23% Suicide: 12% (Rideout, 2001) (Gould, Munfakh, Lubell et al., 2002) (Kaiser Family
    • 7. Impact of online health information  53% have had a conversation with their caregiver about what they learned (Rideout, 2001)  41% have changed their behavior (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2001)  14% have sought healthcare services (Rideout, 2001)
    • 8. Internet experiences  Most youth report positive experiences (Borzekowski & Rickert, 2001; National Public Radio, Kaiser Family Foundation, Harvard School of Public Policy, 2000; Lenhart, Rainie & Lewis, 2001)  . Still, concerns about potential negative online exposures cited by parents, and to a lesser extent, youth (UCLA Center for Communication Policy, 2001; NPR, Kiser Family Foundation, Harvard School of Public Policy, 2000; Lenhart, Rainie, & Lewis, 2001)
    • 9. Context As the number of youth with Internet access increases :  Public policy and research attention on the potential influence the Internet may have on youth behavior and development (e.g., Finkelhor, Mitchell & Wolak, 2000; Congress’ Children’s Internet Protection Act, 2000; Whitehouse press release, 2002; Lenhart, Rainie & Lewis, 2001)  Identifying sub-populations of potentially vulnerable youth is vitally important
    • 10. Unwanted sexual solicitation Three main types of sexual solicitation (Finkelhor, Mitchell & Wolak, 2000)    Sexual talk  15 y.o. girl: “I was on the Internet with [this] guy and all of a sudden the guy began to get perverted. I found it to be really uncomfortable.” Sexual information  11 y.o. girl: “I was talking with a man and he started to ask me about my physical features…[the] color of my eyes and bra size” Sexual acts  A 11 year old girl: “they told me to play with myself”  A 13 year old boy:” we were talking to this one girl and she wondered how big my privates were and she asked me to jack off so she could bang or something”
    • 11. Internet harassment An overt, intentional act of aggression towards another person online   Physical threats  “Someone threatened to beat me up.”  “Someone was threatening to kill me and my girlfriend.” Embarrassment/humiliation  “They were mad at me and they made a hate page about me.”  “Some friends from school were posting things about me and my boyfriend, then they found a note between me and my boyfriend and they scanned it and put it on their website, then sent it through e-mail to people in school.”
    • 12. Mental health & ‘traditional’ experiences
    • 13. Depressive symptomatology in childhood  6% of youth at any time  Significant public health problem    (Kessler & Walters, 1998) Increased risk for adult depressive episode and other disorders (Lewinsohn, Rohde, Klein & Seeley, 1999; Kessler, McGonagle, Swartz et al., 1993) Increased health care utilization (Wu, Hoven, Bird et al., 1999) Demographic differences:  Affects more females than males (Simonoff, Pickles, Meyer et al., 1997; Kazdin & Marciano, 1998; Silberg, Pickles, Rutter et al., 1999)  Risk of onset increases through adolescence 1998) (Kazdin & Marciano,
    • 14. Unwanted sexual experience  1.3/1000 children at any given time (National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, 1999)  Related to major depression and other clinical problems (Kendall-Tackett, Meyer-Williams & Finkelhor, 1993; Rind, Bauserman, Tromovitch; 1997)  Females are more than 2 times more likely to have reported abuse than males (National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, 1999)
    • 15. Traditional bullying  10-20% of young people (Boulton & Underwood, 1992; Slee & Rigby, 1993; Rigby, 1993)  Significant public health problem  Concurrent symptoms of depression (Haynie, Nansel, Eitel et al., 2001; Kaltailia-Heino, Rimpela, Martunen et al., 1999)  Long-term effects:   Poor somatic health (Rigby, 1999)   Symptoms of depression over time (Kumpulainen & Rasanen, 2000) Challenges in adult personal relationships (Hugh-Jones & Smith, 1999) Males are significantly more likely to be target and/or initiator of bullying (Nansel, Overpeck, Pilla et al., 2001)
    • 16. Hypothesized links between depressive symptomatology and Sexual solicitation   Depressive symptoms may be related to increased risk for subsequent sexual abuse (Boney-McCoy & Finkelhor, 1996). Depressive symptomatology has been linked to risky sexual practices for both males and females (Shrier, Harris, Sternberg et al., 2001).
    • 17. Hypothesized links between depressive symptomatology and Internet harassment   Significant relationship between being a victim of bullying and depressive symptomatology crosssectionally (Hawker & Boulton, 2000; Haynie, Nansel & Eitel et al., 2001) as well as over time (Kaltiala-Heino, Rimpela, Rantanen & Rimpela, 2000). Internet communication is different because of its lack of non-verbal cues (McKenna & Bargh, 2000). Youth with depressive symptoms may be at even greater disadvantage in online versus traditional exchanges to correctly interpret and react to others.
    • 18. Youth Internet Safety Survey (YISS) Conducted by David Finkelhor and colleagues at the Crimes Against Children Research Center, University of New Hampshire
    • 19. Youth Internet Safety Study Methodology Study design:       National probability design Cross-sectional Telephone survey Fall 1999 and Spring 2000 1,501 youth and 1 caregiver 82% participation among contacted and eligible households
    • 20. YISS Study Methodology (cont) Inclusion criteria      10-17 years old Use Internet at least 3 times in previous 3 months (anywhere) English speaking Live in household for at least 2 weeks in previous year Caregiver and youth consent
    • 21. YISS Study Sample characteristics    48% were female Average age: 14 years Race/ethnicity:    75% White 10% Black 7% Hispanic
    • 22. Measures and Indicators Internet harassment Felt worried or threatened because of someone else bothering or harassing him or her while online (5%) Felt threatened or embarrassed because someone had posted or sent a message about the youth for other people to see (2.5%) Unwanted sexual solicitation • • • • Asked to talk about sex when not desired (14%) Disclose personal, sexual information when not desired (15%) Engage in sexual acts when not desired (8%) Perpetrated by an adult
    • 23. Measures and Indicators Depressive symptomatology Current (previous month) symptoms, except dysphoria (all day, nearly every day for 2 weeks) DSM-IV based check-list Major depressive-like symptoms 5+ symptoms, 1 of which is anhedonia or dysphoria Functional impairment (school, hygiene, self-efficacy) Minor depressive-like symptoms (3+ symptoms) Mild or no symptoms (Fewer than 3 symptoms)
    • 24. Measures and Indicators Internet use Interactive Internet activity, most frequent Internet activity, average daily use, ISP, Harassment towards others Psychosocial indicators Substance use, # of close friends, frequency of interaction, # of life challenges, # of interpersonal challenges, physical/sexual victimization Age, household income, race/ethnicity, sex Demographic characteristics
    • 25. Analytic Approach Logistic regression to estimate the odds of an unwanted Internet experience given the report of depressive symptomatology    Stratified by sex Tested effect modification of reported depressive symptoms by: age and substance use 4 final parsimonious models of significant characteristics identified:  Internet harassment among females  Internet harassment among males  Sexual solicitation among females  Sexual solicitation among males Study sample ⇒ 1,489 youth
    • 26. YISS Findings
    • 27. Report of depressive symptomatology Major depressive-like syndrome Minor depressive-like syndrome Mild or no symptoms 14% 81% 5%
    • 28. Unwanted sexual solicitation online
    • 29. General findings    19% of regular Internet users in the previous year (Finkelhor, Mitchell & Wolak, 2000) 25% of those sexually solicited felt very/extremely upset or afraid (Finkelhor, Mitchell & Wolak, 2000) Females are 2 times as likely to be targeted than males  77% are 14 years and older  48% of perpetrators are youth
    • 30. Odds of unwanted sexual solicitation given psychosocial challenge (n=1,498) Youth characteristics Solicited (N=97) Not solicited (N=1392) Odds Ratio (95% CI) PValue Substance use High user 33.2% (94) 15.5% (187) 10.00 (5.06, 19.79) <.01 63.3% (179) 68.0% (820) 4.34 (2.26, 8.37) <.01 3.5% (10) 16.5% (199) 1.00 (Reference) Physical/sexual victimization 5.7% (16) 1.2% (15) 4.76 (2.32, 9.75) <.01 Interpersonal victimization (2+) 32.9% (93) 16.0% (193) 2.57 (1.92, 3.44) <.01 Negative life events (2+) 35.6% (429) 55.1% (156) 2.22 (1.71, 2.89) <.01 Infrequent peer interaction 41.3% (117) 31.8% (383) 1.51 (1.16, 1.98) <.01 Moderate user Low user (3 days or less)
    • 31. Odds ratio for reporting Internet sexual solicitation Odds of online solicitation given report of depressive symptomatology 4 3.54 *** 3 2 1 1.55 * Mild or no symptoms (Reference) Minor depressive-like symptoms Major depressive-like sympoms
    • 32. Unwanted sexual solicitation by sex & depressive symptomatology Mild/no symptoms Minor symptoms Major symptoms 100% 83% 83% 80% 71% 70% 60% 40% 20% ** 19% 12% ** 10% 16% 14% *** 15% 5% 3% 0% Not solicited Females Solicited Not solicited Males Solicited
    • 33. Final logistic regression model of sexual solicitation: Male Internet users (n=782) Youth characteristics AOR (95% CI) P-Value Major depressive-like symptoms 2.72 (1.15, 6.40) 0.02 Minor depressive-like symptoms 0.89 (0.45, 1.77) 0.74 Mild/Absent symptomatology 1.00 (Reference) Depression Psychosocial challenge Life challenge (2+) Interpersonal victimization (2+) 2.94 (1.33, 6.50) 0.01 1.87 (1.12, 3.14) 0.02
    • 34. Male Internet users:(Cont) Youth characteristics AOR (95% CI) P-Value Frequent 4.80 (2.47, 9.35) <0.01 Moderate 2.13 (1.16, 3.94) 0.02 Infrequent 1.00 (Reference) Chat room 3.13 (1.60, 6.11) <.001 Email 1.57 (0.84, 2.94) 0.16 Instant Messaging 1.10 (0.52, 2.32) 0.80 All other 1.00 (Reference) Internet usage characteristics Interactive Internet use Most frequent Internet activity Harasser of others online 1.80 (1.01, 3.20) 0.05
    • 35. Final logistic regression model of sexual solicitation: Female Internet users (n=707) Youth characteristics AOR (95% CI) P-Value Major depressive-like symptoms 1.40 (0.65, 2.99) 0.39 Minor depressive-like symptoms 1.62 (0.96, 2.76) 0.07 Depression Mild/Absent symptoms 1.00 (Reference group) Psychosocial characteristics Substance use High user 2.87 (1.13, 7.34) 0.03 Average user Mild/non-user 2.09 (0.97, 4.53) 0.06 Interpersonal victimization (2+) 1.00 (Reference group) 1.82 (1.15, 2.89) 0.01
    • 36. Female Internet users (cont) Youth characteristics AOR (95% CI) P-Value 4.07 (2.48, 6.68) <.001 Frequent 3.21 (1.79, 5.77) <.001 Moderate 2.12 (1.34, 3.37) <.001 Infrequent 1.00 (Reference group) Internet usage characteristics Harasser of others online Interactive Internet use Most frequent Internet activity Chat room 3.10 (1.62, 5.93) <.001 Instant Messaging 1.34 (0.68, 2.62) 0.39 Email 1.30 (0.81, 2.07) 0.28 All other 1.00 (Reference group)
    • 37. Emotional distress among sexual solicitation targets % of y out h w it hin depr essiv e cat egor y 40% 35% 38% * 32% 30% 25% Maj or depressive sympt omat olgoy 21% 20% Minor depressive sympt omt ology Mild/ no sxs 15% 10% 5% 0% Em ot ionally dist ressed
    • 38. Summary Self-reported major depressive symptomatology is significantly related to the report of unwanted sexual solicitation All youth: OR = 3.53, CI: 2.19, 5.71 Among males: OR = 5.90, CI: 2.79, 12.49 Among females: OR = 2.33, CI: 1.25, 3.45
    • 39. Summary After adjusting for other significant characteristics, a relationship persists among otherwise similar males, but not females: Males: AOR = 2.72, CI: 1.15, 6.40  Females: AOR = 0.89, CI: 0.45, 1.77 
    • 40. Internet Harassment
    • 41. General findings  6% of regular Internet users in the previous year (Finkelhor, Mitchell & Wolak, 2000)  1/3 of youth harassed indicate feeling very/extremely upset or afraid  Males and females equally at risk  70% are 14 years and older  63% of perpetrators are youth
    • 42. Odds of Internet harassment given psychosocial challenge (n=1,498) Youth characteristics Harassed (N=97) Not harassed (N=1392) Odds Ratio (95% CI) PValue Substance use High user 32.0% (31) 18.0% (250) 6.36 (2.21, 18.30) <.01 Moderate user 67.3% (937) 63.9% (62) 3.39 (1.22, 9.43) 0.02 Low user 14.7% (205) 4.1% (4) 1.00 (Reference) Negative life events (2+) 41.2% (40) 17.7% (246) 3.27 (2.13, 5.01) <.01 Interpersonal victimization (2+) 59.8% (58) 37.9% (527) 2.44 (1.60, 3.72) <.01 4.1% (4) 1.9% (27) 2.17 (0.74, 6.35) 0.16 Physical/sexual victimization
    • 43. Odds ratio for reporting Internet harassment Odds of Internet harassment given report of depressive symptomatology 4 3.38*** 3 2 1.37 1 Mild or no symptoms (Reference) Minor depressive-like symptoms Major depressive-like symptoms
    • 44. Internet harassment by sex and depressive symptomatology Mild/no symptoms Minor symptoms Major symptoms 100% 80% 80% 83% 80% 60% 60% 40% 20% 21% 19% *** 14% 12% 6% 14% 8% 3% 0% Not harassed Females Harassed Not harassed Males Harassed
    • 45. Final logistic regression model of Internet harassment: Male Internet users (N=782) Youth characteristics AOR (95% CI) P-Value Major depressive-like symptoms 3.64 (1.16, 11.39) 0.03 Minor depressive-like symptoms 1.60 (0.68, 3.76) 0.28 Mild/Absent symptomatology 1.00 (Reference) Depression Internet usage characteristics Average daily Internet use Intense (3+ hrs/day) 4.34 (2.12, 8.89) <.001 Moderate (2 hrs/day) 1.00 (0.43, 2.31) 1.00 Low (<=1 hr/day) 1.00 (Reference) Harasser of others online 4.19 (2.06, 8.50) <.001 3.07 (1.57, 6.00) <.001 Psychosocial characteristic Interpersonal victimization (2+)
    • 46. Final logistic regression model of Internet harassment: Female Internet users (n=707) Youth characteristics AOR (95% CI) P-Value Major depressive-like symptoms 0.90 (0.27, 3.04) 0.87 Minor depressive-like symptoms 0.88 (0.34, 2.31) 0.80 Mild/Absent symptomatology 1.00 (Reference) Depression
    • 47. Female Internet users (Cont) Youth characteristics AOR (95% CI) P-Value Intense (3+ hrs/day) 3.67 (1.53, 8.81) 0.01 Moderate (2 hrs/day) 2.34 (1.16, 4.73) 0.02 Low (<=1 hr/day) 1.00 (Reference) Internet usage characteristics Average daily Internet use Most frequent Internet activity Instant Messaging 2.92 (1.10, 7.79) 0.03 Email 2.75 (1.20, 6.26) 0.02 Chat room 1.68 (0.51, 5.50) 0.39 All other 1.00 (Reference) Harasser of others online 2.82 (1.43, 5.53) <.01 Internet service provider 0.52 (0.28, 0.97) 0.04 America Online ISP 1.00 (Reference) All other 0.36 (0.17, 0.75) 0.01
    • 48. Emotional distress among harassment targets % of y out h w it hin depr essiv e cat egor y 60% 54% 50% 37% 40% 30% Maj or depressive sympt omat olgoy Minor depressive sympt omt ology 25% 20% 10% 0% Em ot ionally dist ressed Mild/ no sxs
    • 49. Summary Self-reported depressive symptomatology is significantly related to the report of Internet harassment, especially for males: All youth: OR = 3.38, CI: 1.78, 3.45 Among males: OR = 8.18, CI: 3.47, 19.25 Among females: OR = 1.32, CI: 0.45, 3.87
    • 50. Summary After adjusting for additionally significant characteristics, the association remains among otherwise similar males:   Males: AOR = 3.64, CI: 1.16, 11.39 Females: AOR = 0.90, CI: 0.27, 3.04
    • 51. General profile
    • 52. Summary across models Females Sex Sol. Harassment Males Sex Sol. Harassment > > > > Depressive symptomatology Major depressive-like symptoms Minor depressive-like symptoms Psychosocial characteristics Interpersonal victimization > Life challenge Substance use > >
    • 53. Summary across models Females Sex Sol. Males Harassment Sex Sol. Harassment Internet usage characteristics Most frequent Internet activity Chat room > > Email > Instant Messaging > > Average daily usage Interactive Internet use > Internet service provider Harasser of others online > > > > > > >
    • 54. Study Limitations 1. 2. 3. Cross sectional data Definition of depressive symptomatology not a measure of “caseness” of major depression Potential undercounting of some populations (e.g., non-English speaking youth)
    • 55. Implications  Differences in Internet usage alone are not sufficient to explain the odds of Internet harassment or sexual solicitation.
    • 56. Implications  Psychosocial challenge is associated with higher odds of an event:   Among young, regular Internet users, those who report DSM IV-like depressive symptomatology are significantly more likely to also report being the target of Internet harassment, and to have experienced an unwanted sexual solicitation compared to youth that report no symptoms of depression . Interpersonal victimization, substance use and negative life challenges
    • 57. Implications Future studies should:  Investigate the temporality of events   Identify additional subpopulations of vulnerable youth Look at other nations to begin understanding intra and inter-cultural similarities
    • 58. Implications for health practitioners   As more youth go online, Internet-related ‘conditions’ will be more common Questions about the Internet should be integrated into the well-being check
    • 59. Implications for public health researchers   The Internet is an influential environment that is shaping and affecting youth today If we are to understand and identify positive and negative risks young people face, the Internet must necessarily be on the forefront of the research agenda.
    • 60. Implications for families  Caregivers    Need to be educated about the Internet as well as positives and negatives of the technology Need to have a strong overall relationship with their child Children    The majority of young people report positive Internet experiences Majority of Internet targets report poor caregiver-child relationships They need to be educated and empowered to enact their own intervention programs (e.g., schools)
    • 61. Conclusion Understanding the complex interaction between mental health and online interactions, especially the influence of malleable characteristics such as depressive symptomatology and Internet usage, is an important area of emerging research.
    • 62. Questions?
    • 63. Discussion   Differences in association with depressive symptomatology for males versus females Psychosocial challenge: “learned helplessness”?
    • 64. Discussion  Emotional distress  Cognitive distortion  Interplay of aggression