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Child Maltreat. 2007 Nov;12(4):314-24.

The relative importance of online victimization in understanding depression, delinquency, and substance use.

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Crimes against Children Research Center, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA.


This article explores the relationship between online and offline forms of interpersonal victimization, with depressive symptomatology, delinquency, and substance use. In a national sample of 1,501 youth Internet users (ages 10-17 years), 57% reported some form of offline interpersonal victimization (e.g., bullying, sexual abuse), and 23% reported an online interpersonal victimization (i.e., sexual solicitation and harassment) in the past year. Nearly three fourths (73%) of youth reporting an online victimization also reported an offline victimization. Virtually all types of online and offline victimization were independently related to depressive symptomatology, delinquent behavior, and substance use. Even after adjusting for the total number of different offline victimizations, youth with online sexual solicitation were still almost 2 times more likely to report depressive symptomatology and high substance use. Findings reiterate the importance of screening for a variety of different types of victimization in mental health settings, including both online and offline forms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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