Teen cyber dating

More than 40 percent of the teens said they'd experienced cyber dating abuse within the past three months: 45 percent of females and 31 percent of males.

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Citing that 78% of 12-17-year-old adolescents own a cell phone and that 63% exchange daily text messages, while 29% have daily communication through various social media websites, the researchers segmented adolescent cyber dating abuse into sexual and nonsexual abuse.

The results: Researchers wrote that because both technology and the way adolescents adapt their behavior to it change rapidly, “this newer mode of communication (versus in-person or phone conversation) brings new capacities to victimize” that can be hard to anticipate.

This abuse can include being monitored, stalked, threatened and harassed through hurtful comments, the researchers said.

The findings were based on surveys of teens who visited northern California school health clinics, and don't hint at how common this kind of abuse among teens is overall.

A total of 5,647 youth from ten schools in three northeastern states participated in the survey, of which 3,745 reported currently being in a dating relationship or having been in one during the prior year (52 % were female; 74 % White).

Just over a quarter of youth in a current or recent relationship said that they experienced some form of cyber dating abuse victimization in the prior year, with females reporting more cyber dating abuse victimization than males (particularly sexual cyber dating abuse).The study authors surveyed slightly more than 1,000 teens aged 14 to 19 who visited on-campus health clinics from 2012 to 2013 in search of care for issues such as sexually transmitted diseases, birth control and annual checkups.The schools were located in urban and suburban areas, and 95 percent of the participants were not white.CONCLUSIONS: Cyber dating abuse is common and associated with ARA and sexual assault in an adolescent clinic-based sample.The associations of cyber dating abuse with sexual behavior and pregnancy risk behaviors suggest a need to integrate ARA education and harm reduction counseling into sexual health assessments in clinical settings.Compared with nonexposed youth, abuse victims reported more sexual assault; female victims reported more contraceptive nonuse and reproductive coercion.

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