Researchers have found that nearly 30% of teenage girls meet offline with the people whom they met online indicating special risk to the teenage girls.
This research has been published in the eFirst pages of the journal Pediatrics.
Researchers studied 251 adolescent girls in the age range of 14 to 17.
Researchers have showed that 30% of teenagers reported offline meetings with the person whom they met on the internet and whose identity or character is not confirmed before the meeting, and that is not a good thing.
“These meetings may have been benign, but for an adolescent girl to do it is dangerous,” Jennie Noll, PhD, a psychologist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the study’s lead author, said in a statement.
According to Dr. Noll, director of research in behavioral medicine and clinical psychology at Cincinnati Children’s, high risk online profiles are more prone to lead to offline meetings and abused or neglected teenage girls are more likely to display such profiles as compared to the other teenage girls.
“If someone is looking for a vulnerable teen to start an online sexual discourse, they will more likely target someone who presents herself provocatively,” she says. “Maltreatment poses a unique risk for online behavior that may set the stage for harm.”
Researchers found that out of 251 adolescent girls, half were the victims of abuse or neglect.
Although such profiles can provoke maltreatment but “high quality parenting” and parental checking could help to decrease the association between adolescent risk factors and these online behaviors, she said.
In a previous study, Dr. Noll asked girls whether they met offline with someone, whom they met online and got some “chilling” stories,
“One patient told a story about a guy who started texting her a lot, and he seemed ‘really nice.’ So she agreed to meet him at the mall, she got in his car, they drove somewhere and he raped her.”
Jennie G. Noll, Chad E. Shenk, Jaclyn E. Barnes, Katherine J. Haralson, (2013). Association of Maltreatment With High-Risk Internet Behaviors and Offline Encounters. Pediatrics.