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J Interpers Violence. 2014 May;29(7):1297-317. doi: 10.1177/0886260513506277. Epub 2013 Nov 22.

Technology-based interpersonal victimization: predictors of patterns of victimization over time.

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  • 1University of Arizona, Tucson, USA.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to identify factors that could predict youth's future technology-based interpersonal victimization and the pattern of that future victimization over time. Data from Growing up With Media, a national, longitudinal, online study were analyzed. At baseline, participants (N = 1,018) were 10- to 15-year-old English speakers who had used the Internet at least once in the last 6 months. Twenty-nine percent reported repeat technology-based interpersonal victimization over a 2-year period (re-victimized group); 10% were victims during only Year 1 (desisted victimized group); and 17% reported victimization during only Year 2 (later victimized group). Of the individual risk factors examined, prior technology-based interpersonal victimization and current amount of Internet use had the strongest overall associations with pattern of technology-based interpersonal victimization over the subsequent 2-year period. There was substantial overlap among the individual risk factors. Thus, they could be thought of more simply in terms of four latent risk and three individual risk factors. On average, across these seven risk factors, repeat victims had the greatest average risk score (0.21) and the not victimized group had the lowest (-0.16). Repeat victims were more likely to be female and older and had more prior experience with problem behaviors, substance use, and negative parent-child relationships as compared with the other three groups. Being female, prior experience with problem behavior, prior substance use, and prior negative parent-child relationships were also associated with frequency of technology-based interpersonal victimization in the near (Year 1) and more distant (Year 2) future. Many of these risk factors related to technology-based victimization over time are malleable, suggesting opportunities for effective targeting of future prevention efforts.

KEYWORDS:

predicting factors; technology-based interpersonal victimization

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