Dear Diary: Teens Reflect on Their Weekly Online Risk Experiences

CHI, pp. 3919-3930, 2016.

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Adolescent online solicitationscontentsexual solicitationYouth Internet Safety Studyinter-rater reliabilityMore(13+)
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Online risks examined in past research include teens becoming the victims of information breaches; online harassment or cyberbullying; sexual solicitations; and exposure to pornography, violence, or other explicit content

Abstract:

In our study, 68 teens spend two months reflecting on their weekly online experiences and report 207 separate risk events involving information breaches, online harassment, sexual solicitations, and exposure to explicit content. We conduct a structured, qualitative analysis to characterize the salient dimensions of their risk experiences,...More

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Introduction
  • A recent national Youth Internet Safety Study (YISS) conducted by the Crimes Against Children Research Center of U.S youth Internet users found that 1 in 11 experience unwanted sexual solicitations, 1 in 9 deal with online harassment, and 1 in 4 are exposed to unwanted sexual materials online [27].
  • Online risks examined in past research include teens becoming the victims of information breaches [18,19]; online harassment or cyberbullying [11, 25]; sexual solicitations [11, 31]; and exposure to pornography, violence, or other explicit content [11, 19,20]
  • These risks are sometimes studied in concert [20, 27, 36] while more often they are examined individually [23, 25,26, 28].
  • The following section summarizes the theoretical foundations of the study design and explains how the work builds upon and differs from the extant literature
Highlights
  • A recent national Youth Internet Safety Study (YISS) conducted by the Crimes Against Children Research Center of U.S youth Internet users found that 1 in 11 experience unwanted sexual solicitations, 1 in 9 deal with online harassment, and 1 in 4 are exposed to unwanted sexual materials online [27]
  • Online risks examined in past research include teens becoming the victims of information breaches [18,19]; online harassment or cyberbullying [11, 25]; sexual solicitations [11, 31]; and exposure to pornography, violence, or other explicit content [11, 19,20]
  • This research has been extremely useful in understanding factors that contribute to online risk exposure, highlighting key themes, as well as generalizing the prevalence in which teens are exposed to online risks
  • Participants 95 parent-teen pairs registered for our diary study and completed the process of informed consent. 72 pairs completed the pre-survey and were invited to continue
  • Four pairs were removed from the study because they submitted no weekly risk events and did not complete the diary study in its entirety
Methods
  • Diary Study Overview The authors custom-built a web-based diary portal using PHP, MySQL, and the Qualtrics survey platform API [30].
  • The diary study consisted of a pre-survey, post-survey, and eight weekly diary entries, which were completed by each participant over an eight-week rolling period.
  • The authors notified participants of the role as mandated reporters of child abuse and/or imminent risks.
  • In most cases, this notification was unnecessary because parents or other authorities were already aware of high-risk situations, per the parent and/or teen diary reports.
  • In one instance, a teen expressed suicidal thoughts, and the authors notified the parent immediately
Results
  • Participants 95 parent-teen pairs registered for the diary study and completed the process of informed consent. 72 pairs completed the pre-survey and were invited to continue.
  • Participants 95 parent-teen pairs registered for the diary study and completed the process of informed consent.
  • Four pairs were removed from the study because they submitted no weekly risk events and did not complete the diary study in its entirety.
  • 68 teens are included in the analysis for this paper.
  • Of these 68 teens, 56 (82.4%) reported at least one risk event.
  • The parent or legal guardian of the teen participants included 60 mothers, 7 fathers, and 1 grandmother.
  • The annual household income of these families ranged from less than $30,000 (10%), $30,001$60,000 (34%), $60,001-$100,000 (23%), $100,001$150,000 (21%), to over $150,000 (7%)
Conclusion
  • The authors discuss the emerging themes and theoretical implications of the research by initiating new risk narratives about positive and negative aspects of adolescent online safety.
  • 84% of the risk reports suggested that teens did not intentionally seek out online risk experiences.
  • The results from the diary study challenge these underlying assumptions and suggest new narratives regarding adolescent online safety.
  • The authors' main goal moving forward should be to find ways to empower teens so they can effectively protect themselves from high-risk online situations and to proactively identify teens who may need extra help
Summary
  • Introduction:

    A recent national Youth Internet Safety Study (YISS) conducted by the Crimes Against Children Research Center of U.S youth Internet users found that 1 in 11 experience unwanted sexual solicitations, 1 in 9 deal with online harassment, and 1 in 4 are exposed to unwanted sexual materials online [27].
  • Online risks examined in past research include teens becoming the victims of information breaches [18,19]; online harassment or cyberbullying [11, 25]; sexual solicitations [11, 31]; and exposure to pornography, violence, or other explicit content [11, 19,20]
  • These risks are sometimes studied in concert [20, 27, 36] while more often they are examined individually [23, 25,26, 28].
  • The following section summarizes the theoretical foundations of the study design and explains how the work builds upon and differs from the extant literature
  • Methods:

    Diary Study Overview The authors custom-built a web-based diary portal using PHP, MySQL, and the Qualtrics survey platform API [30].
  • The diary study consisted of a pre-survey, post-survey, and eight weekly diary entries, which were completed by each participant over an eight-week rolling period.
  • The authors notified participants of the role as mandated reporters of child abuse and/or imminent risks.
  • In most cases, this notification was unnecessary because parents or other authorities were already aware of high-risk situations, per the parent and/or teen diary reports.
  • In one instance, a teen expressed suicidal thoughts, and the authors notified the parent immediately
  • Results:

    Participants 95 parent-teen pairs registered for the diary study and completed the process of informed consent. 72 pairs completed the pre-survey and were invited to continue.
  • Participants 95 parent-teen pairs registered for the diary study and completed the process of informed consent.
  • Four pairs were removed from the study because they submitted no weekly risk events and did not complete the diary study in its entirety.
  • 68 teens are included in the analysis for this paper.
  • Of these 68 teens, 56 (82.4%) reported at least one risk event.
  • The parent or legal guardian of the teen participants included 60 mothers, 7 fathers, and 1 grandmother.
  • The annual household income of these families ranged from less than $30,000 (10%), $30,001$60,000 (34%), $60,001-$100,000 (23%), $100,001$150,000 (21%), to over $150,000 (7%)
  • Conclusion:

    The authors discuss the emerging themes and theoretical implications of the research by initiating new risk narratives about positive and negative aspects of adolescent online safety.
  • 84% of the risk reports suggested that teens did not intentionally seek out online risk experiences.
  • The results from the diary study challenge these underlying assumptions and suggest new narratives regarding adolescent online safety.
  • The authors' main goal moving forward should be to find ways to empower teens so they can effectively protect themselves from high-risk online situations and to proactively identify teens who may need extra help
Tables
  • Table1: Four Main Risk Categories
  • Table2: Key Dimensions and Inter-Rater Reliability Metrics
  • Table3: Distributions and Reclassification of Risk Types
  • Table4: Diary Risk Reporting Survey Instrument
  • Table5: Standardized Percentages of Risk Reports by Risk Dimensions
Download tables as Excel
Funding
  • Also, this research was supported by the U.S National Science Foundation under grant CNS-1018302
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