Navigation Links
30 Percent of U.S. Teen Girls Meet Up With Online Strangers
Date:1/14/2013

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly a third of American teenage girls say that at some point they've met up with people with whom their only prior contact was online, new research reveals.

For more than a year, the study tracked online and offline activity among more than 250 girls aged 14 to 17 years and found that 30 percent followed online acquaintance with in-person contact, raising concerns about high-risk behavior that might ensue when teens make the leap from social networking into real-world encounters with strangers.

Girls with a history of neglect or physical or sexual abuse were particularly prone to presenting themselves online (both in images and verbally) in ways that can be construed as sexually explicit and provocative. Doing so, researchers warned, increases their risk of succumbing to the online advances of strangers whose goal is to prey upon such girls in person.

"Statistics show that in and of itself, the Internet is not as dangerous a place as, for example, walking through a really bad neighborhood," said study lead author Jennie Noll, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati and director of research in behavioral medicine and clinical psychology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. "The vast majority of online meetings are benign.

"On the other hand, 90 percent of our adolescents have daily access to the Internet, and there is a risk surrounding offline meetings with strangers, and that risk exists for everyone," Noll added. "So even if just 1 percent of them end up having a dangerous encounter with a stranger offline, it's still a very big problem.

"On top of that, we found that kids who are particularly sexual and provocative online do receive more sexual advances from others online, and are more likely to meet these strangers, who, after sometimes many months of online interaction, they might not even view as a 'stranger' by the time they meet," Noll continued. "So the implications are dangerous."

The study, which was supported by a grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, appeared online Jan. 14 and in the February print issue of the journal Pediatrics.

The authors focused on 130 girls who had been identified by their local Child Protective Service agency as having a history of mistreatment, in the form of abuse or neglect, in the year leading up to the study. The research team also evaluated another 121 girls without such a background.

Parents were asked to outline their teen's routine habits, as well as the nature of any at-home Internet monitoring they practiced, while investigators coded the girls' profiles for content.

Teens were asked to report all cases of having met someone in person who they previously had only met online in the 12- to 16-month period following the study's launch.

The chances that a girl would put up a profile containing particularly provocative content increased if she had a history of behavioral issues, mental health issues or abuse or neglect.

Those who posted provocative material were found to be more likely to receive sexual solicitations online, to seek out so-called adult content and to arrange offline meetings with strangers.

Although parental control and filtering software did nothing to decrease the likelihood of such high-risk Internet behavior, direct parental involvement and monitoring of their child's behavior did mitigate against such risks, the study showed.

Noll said concerned parents need to balance the desire to investigate their children's online activities -- and perhaps violate a measure of their privacy -- with the more important goal of wanting to "open up the avenues of communication."

"As parents, you always have the right to observe your kids without their knowing," she said. "But I would be careful about intervening in any way that might cause them to shut down and hide, because the most effective thing to do is to have your kids communicate with you openly -- without shame or accusation -- about what their online lives actually look like."

Dr. Jonathan Pletcher, clinical director of adolescent medicine at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, said "there's no one-size-fits-all parenting for all of this."

"It's really about building a foundation of knowing your kid and knowing their warning signs and building trust and open-minded communication," he said. "[You have to] set up that communication at an early age and establish rules, a framework, for Internet usage, because they are all going to get online.

"At this point, it's a life skill that has become almost essential for teens, so it's going to happen," he added. "What's needed is parental supervision to help them learn how to make these online connections safely."

More information

For more about teen development, visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

SOURCES: Jennie Noll, Ph.D., professor of pediatrics, University of Cincinnati, and director of research in behavioral medicine and clinical psychology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; Jonathan Pletcher, M.D., clinical director, division of adolescent medicine, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; February 2013 Pediatrics


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. 30 percent of teen girls report meeting offline with someone they met online
2. Federal Safe Routes to School program reduces child injuries by more than 40 percent in New York City
3. 56 percent of female university students get drunk in record time
4. U.S. Glaucoma Cases Jump 22 Percent Over Decade: Report
5. New report: Employer health insurance premiums increased 62 percent from 2003 to 2011
6. Moderate coffee consumption may reduce risk of diabetes by up to 25 percent
7. International survey: 69 percent of US primary care doctors now have electronic medical records
8. Measuring metabolism can predict Alzheimers progress with 90 percent accuracy
9. Family Health Insurance Premiums Jump 4 Percent in 2012
10. Health-care costs at end of life exceed total assets for 25 percent of Medicare population
11. ESC says 50 percent of CVD deaths in Europe could be avoided with proper regulation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
30 Percent of U.S. Teen Girls Meet Up With Online Strangers
(Date:3/28/2017)... Santa Monica, CA (PRWEB) , ... March 28, ... ... expert, Dr. Carson Liu of SkyLex Advanced Surgical, Inc. is thrilled to offer ... newest gastric balloon procedure, and this procedure adds to SkyLex Advanced Surgical’s ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... The Lice Treatment Center® ... March 13-16, was a busy spot this year. Liz Solovay and Adrian Picheny, ... preventing outbreaks among camp communities during the upcoming 2017 camping season. “Lice infestations ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... ... Silicon Valley Hair Institute, the San Francisco Bay Area leader in women's ... loss. Although hair transplant procedures can be seen as more of a man’s issue, ... two reasons a woman may see her hair thinning. , “We are used to ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... , ... Thank you to all who attended Capio Partners Winter 2017 Healthcare ... exclusive to providers and offered an opportunity to collaborate and network with healthcare colleagues ... Hyatt where attendees gathered for a lively discussion on trends and issues that healthcare ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... 28, 2017 , ... “A Prophets Bones”: a thrilling adventure that reveals the mystery of Kevin’s ... things that his parents and teachers had asked of him that he had neglected to ... to defy the Almighty Creator. There were some who would have felt themselves to be ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017  Medeon Biodesign, Inc., ... company, is pleased to announce that the Company ... of Panther Orthopedics, Inc., a San ... fixation solutions for orthopedic extremity applications.  ... expand rapidly, primarily due to procedure volume growth, ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017 Summary This report ... Lilly and its partnering interests and activities since 2010. ... an in-depth insight into the partnering activity of one of ... company reports are prepared upon purchase to ensure inclusion of ... The report will be delivered in PDF format within ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... IRVINE, Calif. , March 27, 2017  Cryoport, ... announced that it intends to offer shares of common ... shelf registration statement on file with the Securities and ... market and other conditions, and there can be no ... be completed, or as to the actual size or ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: