Advertisement

Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 1039–1047 | Cite as

The Protective Effects of Parental Monitoring and Internet Restriction on Adolescents’ Risk of Online Harassment

  • Atika KhuranaEmail author
  • Amy Bleakley
  • Amy B. Jordan
  • Daniel Romer
Empirical Research

Abstract

With many adolescents using the internet to communicate with their peers, online harassment is on the rise among youth. The purpose of this study was to understand how parental monitoring and strategies parents use to regulate children’s internet use (i.e., internet restriction) can help reduce online harassment among adolescents. Online survey data were collected from a nationally representative sample of parents and their 12–17 year old adolescents (n = 629; 49 % female). Structural equation modeling was used to test direct and indirect effects of parental monitoring and internet restriction on being a victim of online harassment. Potential mediators included adolescents’ frequency of use of social networking websites, time spent on computers outside of school, and internet access in the adolescent’s bedroom. Age and gender differences were also explored. Adolescents’ reports of parental monitoring and efforts to regulate specific forms of internet use were associated with reduced rates of online harassment. Specifically, the effect of parental monitoring was largely direct and 26 times greater than parental internet restriction. The latter was associated with lower rates of harassment only indirectly by limiting internet access in the adolescent’s bedroom. These effects operated similarly for younger and older adolescents and for males and females. Adolescents’ perceptions of parental monitoring and awareness can be protective against online harassment. Specific restriction strategies such as regulating internet time and content can also help reduce the risk of online harassment.

Keywords

Online harassment Parental monitoring Internet restriction Adolescent internet use 

Notes

Author contributions

A.K., A.B., A.J., and D.R. conceived the study and participated in its design and coordination; A.K. conducted the statistical analyses and prepared the first draft of the manuscript; A.B. and D.R. led the data collection efforts and participated in the interpretation of the data; A.B., A.J., and D.R. edited and provided feedback on the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

References

  1. Bleakley, A., Vaala, S., Jordan, A. B., & Romer, D. (2014). The Annenberg Media Environment Survey: Media access and use in U.S. homes with children and adolescents. In A. B. Jordan & D. Romer (Eds.), Media and the well-being of children and adolescents (pp. 1–19). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bonanno, R. A., & Hymel, S. (2013). Cyber bullying and internalizing difficulties: above and beyond the impact of traditional forms of bullying. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42(5), 685–697. doi: 10.1007/s10964-013-9937-1.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Borawski, E. A., Ievers-Landis, C. E., Lovegreen, L. D., & Trapl, E. S. (2003). Parental monitoring, negotiated unsupervised time, and parental trust: The role of perceived parenting practices in adolescent health risk behaviors. Journal of Adolescent Health, 33(2), 60–70. doi: 10.1016/S1054-139X(03)00100-9.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Bradshaw, C. P. (2014). The role of families in preventing and buffering the effects of bullying. JAMA Pediatrics,. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.1627.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Cook, C. R., Williams, K. R., Guerra, N. G., Kim, T. E., & Sadek, S. (2010). Predictors of bullying and victimization in childhood and adolescence: A meta-analytic investigation. School Psychology Quarterly, 25(2), 65–83. doi: 10.1037/a0020149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. David-Ferdon, C., & Hertz, M. F. (2007). Electronic media, violence, and adolescents: an emerging public health problem. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(6), S1–S5. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.08.020.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. DiClemente, R. J., Wingood, G. M., Crosby, R., Sionean, C., Cobb, B. K., Harrington, K., … Oh, M. K. (2001). Parental monitoring: Association with adolescents’ risk behaviors. Pediatrics, 107(6), 1363–1368. doi: 10.1542/peds.107.6.1363.
  8. Dishion, T. J., Nelson, S. E., & Bullock, B. M. (2004). Premature adolescent autonomy: Parent disengagement and deviant peer process in the amplification of problem behaviour. Journal of Adolescence, 27(5), 515–530. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2004.06.005.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Eastin, M. S., Greenberg, B. S., & Hofschire, L. (2006). Parenting the internet. Journal of Communication, 56(3), 486–504. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.2006.00297.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Elgar, F. J., Napoletano, A., Saul, G., Dirks, M. A., Craig, W., Poteat, V. P., … Koenig, B. W. (2014). Cyberbullying victimization and mental health in adolescents and the moderating role of family dinners. JAMA Pediatrics. Online first. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.1223.
  11. Espinoza, G., & Juvonen, J. (2011). The pervasiveness, connectedness, and intrusiveness of social network site use among young adolescents. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 14(12), 705–709. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2010.0492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Frick, P. J., Christian, R. E., & Wootton, J. M. (1999). Age trends in the association between parenting practices and conduct problems. Behavior Modification, 23(1), 106–128. doi: 10.1177/0145445599231005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hirschi, T. (2001). Causes of delinquency. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  14. Huebner, A. J., & Howell, L. W. (2003). Examining the relationship between adolescent sexual risk-taking and perceptions of monitoring, communication, and parenting styles. Journal of Adolescent Health, 33(2), 71–78. doi: 10.1016/S1054-139X(03)00141-1.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Jones, L. M., Mitchell, K. J., & Finkelhor, D. (2013). Online harassment in context: Trends from three youth internet safety surveys (2000, 2005, 2010). Psychology of Violence, 3(1), 53–69. doi: 10.1037/a0030309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jose, P. E., Kljakovic, M., Scheib, M., & Notter, O. (2012). The joint development of traditional bullying and victimization with cyber bullying and victimization in adolescence. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 22(2), 301–309. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-7795.2011.00764.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Juvonen, J., & Gross, E. F. (2008). Extending the school grounds?—Bullying experiences in cyberspace. Journal of School Health, 78(9), 496–505. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2008.00335.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Kerr, M., Stattin, H., & Burk, W. J. (2010). A reinterpretation of parental monitoring in longitudinal perspective. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 20(1), 39–64. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-7795.2009.00623.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kiesner, J., Dishion, T. J., Poulin, F., & Pastore, M. (2009). Temporal dynamics linking aspects of parent monitoring with early adolescent antisocial behavior. Social Development, 18(4), 765–784. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9507.2008.00525.x.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Korchmaros, J. D., Mitchell, K. J., & Ybarra, M. L. (2014). Technology-based interpersonal victimization: Predictors of patterns of victimization over time. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29(7), 1297–1317. doi: 10.1177/0886260513506277.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Kowalski, R. M., & Limber, S. P. (2007). Electronic bullying among middle school students. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(6), S22–S30. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.08.017.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Kowalski, R. M., & Limber, S. P. (2013). Psychological, physical, and academic correlates of cyberbullying and traditional bullying. Journal of Adolescent Health, 53(1), S13–S20. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.09.018.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Law, D. M., Shapka, J. D., & Olson, B. F. (2010). To control or not to control? Parenting behaviours and adolescent online aggression. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(6), 1651–1656. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2010.06.013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lenhart, A., & Madden, M. (2007). Social networking websites and teens: An overview. Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_SNS_Data_Memo_Jan_2007.pdf
  25. Lenhart, A., Madden, M., Smith, A., Purcell, K., Zickuhr, K., & Rainie, L. (2011). Teens, kindness and cruelty on social network sites: How american teens navigate the new world of “digital citizenship.” Pew Research Center.Google Scholar
  26. Livingstone, S. (2007). Strategies of parental regulation in the media-rich home. Computers in Human Behavior, 23(2), 920–941. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2005.08.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Livingstone, S., & Helsper, E. J. (2008). Parental mediation of children’s internet use. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 52(4), 581–599. doi: 10.1080/08838150802437396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Livingstone, S., & Smith, P. K. (2014). Harms experienced by child users of online and mobile technologies: The nature, prevalence and management of sexual and aggressive risks in the digital age. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry,. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12197.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. MacKinnon, D. P., Lockwood, C. M., & Williams, J. (2004). Confidence limits for the indirect effect: Distribution of the product and resampling methods. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 39(1), 99–128. doi: 10.1207/s15327906mbr3901_4.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Madden, M., Lenhart, A., Duggan, M., Cortesi, S., & Gasser, U. (2013). Teens and Technology 2013. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Teens-and-Tech.aspx
  31. Mesch, G. S. (2009). Parental mediation, online activities, and cyberbullying. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12(4), 387–393. doi: 10.1089/cpb.2009.0068.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mishna, F., Khoury-Kassabri, M., Gadalla, T., & Daciuk, J. (2012). Risk factors for involvement in cyber bullying: Victims, bullies and bully–victims. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(1), 63–70. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2011.08.032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mitchell, K. J., Wolak, J., & Finkelhor, D. (2007). Trends in youth reports of sexual solicitations, harassment and unwanted exposure to pornography on the internet. Journal of Adolescent Health, 40(2), 116–126. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2006.05.021.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Mitchell, K. J., & Ybarra, M. L. (2009). Social networking sites: Finding a balance between their risks and benefits. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 163(1), 87–89. doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2008.534.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (1998–2012). Mplus user’s guide (7th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
  36. Padilla-Walker, L. M., & Coyne, S. M. (2011). “Turn that thing off!” parent and adolescent predictors of proactive media monitoring. Journal of Adolescence, 34(4), 705–715. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2010.09.002.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Padilla-Walker, L. M., Coyne, S. M., Fraser, A. M., Dyer, W. J., & Yorgason, J. B. (2012). Parents and adolescents growing up in the digital age: Latent growth curve analysis of proactive media monitoring. Journal of Adolescence, 35(5), 1153–1165. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2012.03.005.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Pepler, D., Jiang, D., Craig, W., & Connolly, J. (2008). Developmental trajectories of bullying and associated factors. Child Development, 79(2), 325–338. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2007.01128.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Raskauskas, J., & Stoltz, A. D. (2007). Involvement in traditional and electronic bullying among adolescents. Developmental Psychology, 43(3), 564–575. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.43.3.564.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Rideout, V., Foehr, U. G., & Roberts, D. F. (2010). Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8 to 18 Year Olds. Menlo Park, CA: Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved from http://kff.org/other/event/generation-m2-media-in-the-lives-of/
  41. Schneider, S. K., O’Donnell, L., Stueve, A., & Coulter, R. W. S. (2012). Cyberbullying, school bullying, and psychological distress: A regional census of high school students. American Journal of Public Health, 102(1), 171–177. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300308.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Shapka, J. D., & Law, D. M. (2013). Does one size fit all? Ethnic differences in parenting behaviors and motivations for adolescent engagement in cyberbullying. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42(5), 723–738. doi: 10.1007/s10964-013-9928-2.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Svensson, R. (2003). Gender differences in adolescent drug use the impact of parental monitoring and peer deviance. Youth & Society, 34(3), 300–329. doi: 10.1177/0044118X02250095.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Valkenburg, P. M., Krcmar, M., Peeters, A. L., & Marseille, N. M. (1999). Developing a scale to assess three styles of television mediation: “Instructive mediation”, “restrictive mediation”, and “social coviewing”. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 43(1), 52–66. doi: 10.1080/08838159909364474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Van Geel, M., Vedder, P., & Tanilon, J. (2014). Relationship between peer victimization, cyberbullying, and suicide in children and adolescents: A meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatrics, 168(5), 435–442. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4143.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Wang, J., Iannotti, R. J., & Nansel, T. R. (2009). School bullying among adolescents in the united states: physical, verbal, relational, and cyber. Journal of Adolescent Health, 45(4), 368–375. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2009.03.021.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Wolak, J., Mitchell, K. J., & Finkelhor, D. (2007). Does online harassment constitute bullying? An exploration of online harassment by known peers and online-only contacts. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(6), S51–S58. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.08.019.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Worthen, M. R. (2007). Education policy implications from the expert panel on electronic media and youth violence. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(6), S61–S63. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.09.009.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Ybarra, M. L., Diener-West, M., & Leaf, P. J. (2007). Examining the overlap in internet harassment and school bullying: Implications for school intervention. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(6), S42–S50. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.09.004.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Ybarra, M. L., & Mitchell, K. J. (2004). Youth engaging in online harassment: Associations with caregiver–child relationships, Internet use, and personal characteristics. Journal of Adolescence, 27(3), 319–336. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2004.03.007.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Ybarra, M. L., Mitchell, K. J., Wolak, J., & Finkelhor, D. (2006). Examining characteristics and associated distress related to internet harassment: Findings from the second youth internet safety survey. Pediatrics, 118(4), e1169–e1177. doi: 10.1542/peds.2006-0815.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Atika Khurana
    • 1
    Email author
  • Amy Bleakley
    • 2
  • Amy B. Jordan
    • 2
  • Daniel Romer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Counseling Psychology and Human Services, College of EducationUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA
  2. 2.Annenberg Public Policy CenterUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations