"The goal of this project was to expand knowledge about the types of violence and abuse experiences youth have via technology (e.g., social networking sites, texting on cell phones), and how the experience of such cyber abuse within teen dating relationships or through bullying relates to other life factors. A total of 5,647 youth from ten middle and high schools in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania participated in the study. Fifty-one percent of the sample was female, 26 percent identified as non-white, and 94 percent identified as heterosexual. The study employed a cross-sectional, survey research design, collecting data via paper-pencil survey. The survey targeted all youth who attended school on a single day and achieved an 84 percent response rate.
The study’s findings showed that more than a quarter (26 percent) of youth in a relationship said they experienced some form of cyber dating abuse victimization in the prior year. Females were twice as likely as males to report being a victim of sexual cyber dating abuse in the prior year. More than a tenth (12 percent) of youth in a relationship said they had perpetrated cyber dating abuse in the prior year. Females reported greater levels of non-sexual cyber dating abuse perpetration than males. By contrast, male youth were significantly more likely to report perpetrating sexual cyber dating abuse. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth reported significantly higher rates of cyber dating abuse victimization and perpetration than heterosexual youth."