A social-ecological approach to understanding adolescent sexting behavior

Hunter, Simon C. and Russell, Kirsten and Pagani, Stefania and Munro, Lindsey and Pimenta, Sofia M. and Marín-López, Inmaculada and Hong, Jun Sung and Knifton, Lee (2021) A social-ecological approach to understanding adolescent sexting behavior. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 50 (6). pp. 2347-2357. ISSN 1573-2800

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    Abstract

    This study examined the extent to which active and passive sexting behaviors are associated with family-, school-, peer-, and romantic-level variables. Young people (N = 3,322; 49.1% female, 48.3% male, 2.6% other) aged 11 to 15 years old (M = 12.84, SD = 0.89) took part, and all attended mainstream secondary schools in Scotland. Participants completed self-report measures of school connectedness, parental love and support, perceived susceptibility to peer- and romantic-pressure (e.g., to display behaviors just to impress others), and their involvement in active and passive sexting. The importance of both school- and family-level factors was evident, though perceived romantic-pressure had the largest effect. However, neither school- nor family-level variables were moderated by either perceived romantic-pressure or perceived peer-pressure. Efforts to reduce sexting or increase its safety should primarily seek to tackle young people’s ability to respond effectively to romantic-pressure. It may also be helpful to develop school connectedness and to help families provide support that is constructive and not intrusive.

    ORCID iDs

    Hunter, Simon C. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3922-1252, Russell, Kirsten ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7034-2749, Pagani, Stefania, Munro, Lindsey, Pimenta, Sofia M., Marín-López, Inmaculada, Hong, Jun Sung and Knifton, Lee ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2227-7305;