25% of Teens Threatened by Love Interest Online or Through Text

C. Price
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Digital harassment is becoming more and more common among teenagers, a new study finds.

Published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, the study found 25 percent of teens said their love interest harassed or threatened them through texts or online platforms, such as email and Facebook.

However, researchers found these digital platforms didn’t appear to be the cause of the harassment, but they did represent a new avenue for abuse.


“Twenty-five percent of teens said their love interest

threatened them through texts or online platforms.”

Participants consisted of 5,647 students from 10 different middle and high schools in urban, suburban and rural communities located in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Two-thirds of students currently had a romantic partner or had one over the last year.

Researchers found about 6 percent of teenagers said their partners posted embarrassing photos of them online, and 5 percent reported their partners wrote “nasty” comments about them online.

Of those who reported digital abuse, more than 80 percent also reported psychological abuse and more than 50 percent reported physical abuse. About one-third reported experiencing sexual coercion from their romantic partner.

“It provides hard data to confirm what we already know – that domestic violence and dating violence occur where we live our lives,” said Cindy Southworth, founder of the Safety Net Project. “These days, the digital world is our real world, and for teens even more so.”

Source: Urban.org. Photo source: phoggi.com.