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Dataset Details

First Youth Internet Safety Survey (YISS-1)

Dataset Number: 134


Investigator(s)

David Finkelhor, Ph.D.
University of New Hampshire Durham, NH

Kimberly J. Mitchell, Ph.D.
University of New Hampshire Durham, NH

Janis Wolak, J.D.
University of New Hampshire Durham, NH

Abstract

The First Youth Internet Safety Survey (YISS-1) is a telephone survey of a national sample of 1,501 youth, ages 10 to 17, and their parents, to assess the incidence, consequences and risk factors related to unwanted or illegal exposure of children and adolescents to sexual solicitation, harassment and pornography on the Internet and to determine children's and parent's knowledge of how to respond to such episodes. Results indicate that approximately one in five youth (19%) received a sexual solicitation or approach over the Internet in the last year while one in thirty-three (3%) received an aggressive sexual solicitation where a solicitor asked to meet them somewhere, called them on the telephone, sent them mail, money or gifts. One in four (25%) had an unwanted exposure to pornography online in the last year. One in seventeen (6%) youth was threatened or harassed online in the last year. A small percentage of young people who reported these incidents were distressed by them. Only a fraction of all episodes were reported to authorities such as a law enforcement agency, an Internet Service Provider, or a hotline. About one-quarter of the youth who encountered a sexual solicitation or approach told a parent. About 40% of those reporting an unwanted exposure to pornography told a parent.

The survey suggests that youth encounter a substantial quantity of offensive episodes, some of which are distressing and most of which are unreported. A comprehensive strategy to respond to the problem would aim to reduce the qualtity of offensive behavior, better shield young people from its likely occurrence, increase the level of reporting, and provide more help to youth and families to protect them from any consequences.

Data Documentation

Publications


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