Social Networking Sites Use

Hagit Sasson, Gustavo Mesch. Parental Mediation, Peer Norms and Risky Online Behavior. Computers in Human Behavior 33 (2014) 32–38

Parental mediation, peer norms and risky online behavior among adolescents



Previous studies have shown that parental mediation of adolescents online is associated with the latter’s participation in risky behavior online and being a victim of online harassment and bullying.  However, there is a paucity of studies investigating the differential contribution of peers’ norms and parental mediation on adolescents’ engagement in risky online behavior. To fill this gap in the literature, we collected data from a representative sample of 495 sixth to eleventh grade students in a large city in Israel. Participants responded to an online survey measuring three types of parental mediation: active guidance, restrictive supervision and non-intervention.  We measured risky behavior online with items indicating the frequency of posting personal details, sending an insulting massage and meeting face-to-face with a stranger met online. In addition, respondents reported their perceptions about their peers’ attitudes toward various risky online behaviors. Multivariate findings show that after controlling for age, gender, time spent online and online activities, only restrictive parental supervision had a significant effect. However, such supervision actually increased adolescents’ risky behavior online. Perceptions that one’s peers approve of such behavior reduced the effect of restrictive parental supervision, leading to increased risky actions online. The results emphasize the importance of peer networks in youngsters’ engagement in risky online activities.

Minority status and the use of CMC A test of the Social Diversification hypothesis

Taking advantage of Israel’s multi-ethnic society, divided along ethnic and immigrant lines, I tested the diversification hypothesis with a large sample of Internet users that resemble the country’s population of Internet users. According to the diversification hypothesis, in socially segregated societies disadvantaged groups have deficits in social capital, particularly bridging social capital. Their use of channels of online communication will be motivated by an attempt to compensate for their disadvantage, and will direct the use of IT to expand their occupational and business ties. From this argument two hypothesis were derived. First, minority and immigrants will be more likely to choose the use of the IT best suited to this task. The findings of the study mostly support this hypothesis. Controlling for socio-demographic and minority status, it was found that people who are motivated to use the Internet to expand business and professional contacts are more likely to use Chat rooms and weblogs. At the same time those motivated to use the Internet to maintain ties with families and friends are more likely to use social networking sites. This finding indicates that each IT application is perceived by users to be suited to a different task.As for the specific hypothesis that minorities and immigrants will be more likely than Israeli Jews to use chat rooms and weblogs to expand their social ties, the results  are mixed. Regarding chat rooms, there is only support for immigrants being more likely than Arab Israelis to use chat rooms. Regarding weblogs, the latter proved more likely to use them than immigrants and Israeli Jews. The three groups did not differ from their use of social networking sites.

Second, a more direct test of the diversification hypothesis was conducted. The hypothesis that Arab Israelis and Immigrants have different motivations for the use of IT was tested by means of OLS regression multivariate analysis. The findings here indicated that the main difference was between Israeli Jews and Immigrants on the one hand and Arab Israelis on the other. Immigrants and Israeli Jews proved more likely than Arab Israelis to use IT for maintaining family ties and to sustaining ties with existing friends. At the same time Arab Israelis were shown as more likely to use IT to make new contacts and to expand their business contacts.

Taking the results together the strongest support of the diversification hypothesis seems to apply to the Arab Israeli population than to the immigrants. This difference might be explained through the differences existing between the two groups in society. As shown in the descriptive analysis, the Arab population of Israel is more disadvantaged in human capital than the immigrant population. Furthermore, the Arab population, perceived as part of the Arab world with which Israel is in a constant state of war, faces more discrimination than the new immigrants. This difference in social standing might be reflected in the more consistent pattern of motivations and usage by the Arab population than by the immigrant groups.

Midwest book review on Wired Youth (2010) Mesch & Talmud

Most Helpful Customer Reviews 5.0 out of 5 stars

A work of impressive and painstaking scholarship, September 9, 2010 By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA) – .Wired Youth: The Social World of Adolescence in the Information Age (Adolescence and Society Series) (Paperback) The latest addition to the outstanding ‘Adolescence and Society’ series from Routledge, “Wired Youth: The Social World of Adolescence in the Information Age” is the collaborative work of Gustavo S. Mesch (Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Haifa) and Ilan Talmud (Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Haifa). This 184-page compendium presents a seminal introduction and description of the literature on youth sociability and relationship formation in this era of personal electronic communications. Of special interest is the attention paid to the negative and positive consequences of adolescent usage (and contemporary dependence upon) online communication. A work of impressive and painstaking scholarship, enhanced with twenty pages of references and a comprehensive index, “Wired Youth” is a strongly recommended addition to academic library Contemporary Sociology reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

Wired Youth (2010) Mesch & Talmud

The Prevention Researcher,
Volume 17, Number 5, 2010, Pages 17

“thought-provoking discussions about the fundamental nature of internet-based social interaction.” 

The Prevention Researcher is a quarterly journal that uses a straightforward and easy-to-read approach to present the most current research and developments in adolescent behavioral research.

Reviewed by John de Miranda, Ed.M.
 Part of the series “Adolescence and Society” published by Routledge, Wired Youth: The Social World of Adolescence in the Information Age is aimed at undergraduates in education and the social sciences, as well as professionals in the same fields. The reviewer, John de Miranda, found that the authors (Gustavo Mesch and Ilan Talmud) present “thought-provoking discussions about the fundamental nature of internet-based social interaction.”

Contemporary Sociology, March 2011 Issue

Wired Youth: The Social World of Adolescence in the Information Age

Wired Youth: The Social World of Adolescence in the Information Age, by Gustavo S. Mesch, Ilan Talmud . New York, NY: Routledge, 2010. $34.95 paper. 176pp. ISBN: 9780415459945.

This book provides a broad interdisciplinary review of literature on youth involvement with digital social technologies. The authors consider research and theory from the perspectives of technological determinism and social constructivism. Although drawing conclusions from both, they ultimately take a sociological approach, viewing digital socializing as an embedded feature of the social structure. They are optimistic about the effects on young people of digital social technologies such as the Internet and cell phones, noting that online social networks tend to increase friendship networks for both introverted and extroverted youth. The highest Internet users tend to be the most social, even when off the Internet. The authors also consider the dangers, including findings that connect Internet use and decreased well-being for introverted youth. Cyberbullying, the act of bullying through online communications such as Instant Messengers, or social networking sites such as Facebook, is on the rise and appears to be magnifying traditional instances of bullying within schools. They also report that youth who use the Internet for socializing tend to spend less time with their families and more time with peer groups. This suggests new technologies may be giving peer groups more influence over youth, which may be a concern for some parents. The authors cover a lot of ground, making this a valuable resource for those interested in examining the prevailing research into digital social technologies and their effect on youth culture. ֲ© American Sociologi cal Association 2011

New Book Wright, Kevin B. / Webb, Lynne M. (eds.)Computer-Mediated Communication in Personal Relationships

 This collection of readings  analyze communication issues of ongoing importance in relationships including deception, disclosure, identity, influence, perception, privacy, sexual fidelity, and social support. The book examines subjects that attract intense student interest – including online performance of gender, online dating, and using computer-mediated communication to achieve family/work life balance – and will inspire further research and course development in the area of computer-mediated communication in personal relationships. Because it provides a synthesis of ideas at the nexus of interpersonal communication theory and computer-mediated communication theory, the book can serve as a textbook for advanced undergraduate as well as graduate courses.



Preface. Kevin B. Wright & Lynne M. Webb


PART 1: The Influence of Technology on How Relational PartnersCommunicate Online

1. A Functional Approach to Social Networking Sites 3 

Erin M. Bryant, Jennifer Marmo, & Artemio Ramirez, Jr.

Jeffrey T. Child & Sandra Petronio

3. A New Twist on Love’s Labor: Self-Presentation in Online Dating Profiles 41

Catalina L. Toma & Jeffrey T. Hancock

4. Microchannels and CMC: Short Paths to Developing, 56

Maintaining, and Dissolving Relationships

Deborah Ballard-Reisch, Bobby Rozzell, Lou Heldman, & David Kamerer

PART 2: Processes and Goals in Computer-Mediated Communication

in Personal Relationships

in Online and Face-to-face Relationships

W. Scott Sanders & Patricia Amason

6. Relational Maintenance and CMC 98

Stephanie Tom Tong & Joseph B. Walther

7. Locating Computer-Mediated Social Support 119

Within Online Communication Environments

Andrew C. High & Denise H. Solomon

8. Personal Relationships and Computer-Mediated Support Groups 137

Kevin B. Wright & Ahlam Muhtaseb

9. Online Self-Disclosure: A Review of Research 156

Jinsuk Kim & Kathryn Dindia

10. Multicommunicating and Episodic Presence: 181

Developing New Constructs for Studying New Phenomena

Jeanine Warisse Turner & N. Lamar Reinsch, Jr

 .11. The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same:


The Role of ICTs in Work and Family Connections 194


Paige P. Edley & Renée Houston PART 3: Influences of CMC on Relational Contexts

12. CMC and the Conceptualization of “Friendship”:

How Friendships Have Changed with the Advent

of New Methods of Interpersonal Communication 225

Amy Janan Johnson & Jennifer A. H. Becker

13. A Cross-Contextual Examination of Technologically Mediated

Communication and Social Presence in Long-Distance Relationships 244

Katheryn C. Maguire & Stacey L. Connaughton

14. Healthcare Provider-Recipient Interactions:

Is “Online” Interaction the Next Best Thing to Being There? 266

Theodore A. Avtgis, E. Phillips Polack, Sydney M. Staggers,

& Susan M. Wieczorek

PART 4: The Dark Side of Computer-Mediated Communication

in Personal Relationships

15. Family Imbalance and Adjustment to Information 285

16. Online Performances of Gender: Blogs, Gender-Bending,

and Cybersex as Relational Exemplars 302

Mark L. Hans, Brittney D. Selvidge, Katie A. Tinker, & Lynne M. Webb

17. Digital Deception in Personal Relationships 324

Norah E. Dunbar & Matthew Jensen

18. Speculating about Spying on MySpace and Beyond:

Social Network Surveillance and Obsessive Relational Intrusion 344

Makenzie Phillips & Brian H. Spitzberg

19. Problematic Youth Interactions Online:

Solicitation, Harassment, and Cyberbullying 368

Andrew R. Schrock & danah boyd


Kevin B. Wright (PhD, University of Oklahoma) is Professor in Communication at the University of Oklahoma. His research examines interpersonal communication, social support related to health outcomes, and computer-mediated relationships. He coauthored Health Communication in the 21st Century, and his research appears in over 45 book chapters and journal articles, including the Journal of Communication, Communication Monographs, the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Communication Quarterly, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Health Communication, and the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.
Lynne M. Webb (PhD, University of Oregon) is Professor in Communication at the University of Arkansas. She previously served as a tenured faculty member at the Universities of Florida and Memphis. Her research examines young adults’ interpersonal communication in romantic and family contexts. Her research appears in over 50 essays published in scholarly journals and edited volumes, including Computers in Human Behavior, Communication Education, Health Communication, and Journal of Family Communication.

2. Unpacking the Paradoxes of Privacy in CMC Relationships


Human Communication Research TOC October 2010 Good Internet studies

Human Communication Research

? 2010 International Communication Association

Volume 36, Issue 4 Page 469 – 634

The latest issue of Human Communication Research is available on Wiley Online Library


The Influence of Online Comments on Perceptions of Antimarijuana Public Service Announcements on YouTube (pages 469?492)
Joseph B. Walther, David DeAndrea, Jinsuk Kim and James C. Anthony
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2010.01384.x
Influence of Self-Affirmation on Responses to Gain- Versus Loss-Framed Antismoking Messages (pages 493?511)
Xiaoquan Zhao and Xiaoli Nan
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2010.01385.x
An Evaluation of Two Characterizations of the Relationships Between Problematic Internet Use, Time Spent Using the Internet, and Psychosocial Problems (pages 512?545)
Robert S. Tokunaga and Stephen A. Rains
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2010.01386.x
Bridging Social Capital in Online Communities: Heterogeneity and Social Tolerance of Online Game Players in Japan (pages 546?569)
Tetsuro Kobayashi
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2010.01388.x
Are Norms of Disclosure of Online and Offline Personal Information Associated with the Disclosure of Personal Information Online? (pages 570?592)
Gustavo S. Mesch and Guy Beker
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2010.01389.x
Dimensions of Leadership and Social Influence in Online Communities (pages 593?617)
David Huffaker
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2010.01390.x
Testing Error Management Theory: Exploring the Commitment Skepticism Bias and the Sexual Overperception Bias (pages 618?634)
David Dryden Henningsen and Mary Lynn Miller Henningsen
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2010.01391.x

International Journal of Internet Science (Vol. 5, Issue 1)

the International Journal of Internet Science,

We are happy to announce the newest issue (Vol. 5, Issue 1) of the
International Journal of Internet Science at

Don A. Dillman, Ulf-Dietrich Reips, & Uwe Matzat:
Advice in Surveying the General Public Over the Internet (Editorial)

Monica T. Whitty & Tom Buchanan:
What's in a Screen Name? Attractiveness of Different Types of Screen Names
Used by Online Daters

Deen G. Freelon:
ReCal: Intercoder Reliability Calculation as a Web Service

Ingrid Bachmann, Kelly Kaufhold, Seth C. Lewis, & Homero Gil de Zúñiga:
News Platform Preference: Advancing the Effects of Age and Media
Consumption on Political Participation

Elad Segev:
Mapping the International: Global and Local Salience and News-Links
Between Countries in Popular News Sites Worldwide

Please find the issue at

Kind regards,

Ulf-Dietrich Reips / Uwe Matzat
Editors, International Journal of Internet Science

Communication and Information Technologies Section of ASA activities in Atlanta 2010

CITASA sessions

The Social Impacts of Technology and Information‎

Scheduled Time: Sun, Aug 15 – 8:30am – 10:10am Building: Atlanta Marriott Marquis

Session Organizer: Shelia R. Cotten (University of Alabama – Birmingham) ‎

The Best of Two Worlds? Internet Use, Online Communication, and ‎Social Networks  ‎*Wenhong Chen (University of Texas at Austin)‎

The Digital Campaign: How Barack Obama Achieved the Dream

Cynthia Love (Siena College), *Sudarat Musikawong (Siena College)

You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

‎*Vicki Winstead (University of Alabama at Birmingham), Elizabeth Allyne

Yost ‎‎(University of Alabama at Birmingham), Shelia R. Cotten (University

of Alabama – ‎Birmingham), William A. Anderson (University of Alabama at

Birmingham), Amanda ‎M. Warr (University of Alabama at Birmingham), Ronald William Berkowsky ‎‎(University of Alabama at Birmingham)‎

Well-Being and Internet Use ‎*Paul A. Rey (University of Maryland),

*Zeynep Tufekci (University of Maryland, ‎Baltimore County)‎

Social Media and Social Capital

Scheduled Time: Sun, Aug 15 – 10:30am – 12:10pm Building: Atlanta Marriott ‎Marquis

Session Organizer: Gustavo S. Mesch (University of Haifa) ‎

Dear AskMe, Can Building Networks and Reading Random Articles Help ‎Me

Solve Other People’s Problems?‎  ‎*Alexandra Marin (University of Toronto)‎

Internet Use and Social Ties of Americans: An Analysis of General Social Survey Data ‎*Zeynep Tufekci (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)‎

Social Capital and Communication Multiplexity in Social Relationship

‎Maintenance: An Alternative Theoretical Approach‎

‎*Yu-Li Hsieh (Northwestern University), Eszter Hargittai (Northwestern University)‎

Talking over the crowd: A Discourse Analysis on comments from Special

‎topic blogs ‎*Ibrahim Halil Yucel (Penn State University)‎

Section Roundtables Organizer Tim Hale, U of Alabama

Sun, Aug 15 – 2:30pm – 3:30pm Building: Atlanta Marriott Marquis

Roundtable 1:

Tie Interdependencies in Email Communication Networks

‎*Ofer Engel (London School of Economics and Political Science)‎

The effect of Social Networking Sites, e-mail, I.M. and Weblogs on Self Esteem

‎‎*Gustavo S. Mesch (University of Haifa)‎

Are Gender and Race Important Factors Shaping the Use and ‎Consequences of  Email to Family?  ‎‎*Noelle A. Chesley (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

, Briana Fox (SER-Jobs for ‎Progress)‎

Roundtable 2:

Technological Influences on Social Ties across the Lifespan

*Brandi Marie McCullough (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)

*Shelia R. ‎Cotten (University of Alabama – Birmingham)

,*Rebecca G. Adams (University of ‎North Carolina at Greensboro)‎

Using Affordable Technology To Bridge The Digital Divide: Results from

‎Birmingham’s XO Laptop Project

‎*Shelia R. Cotten (University of Alabama – Birmingham), *Timothy M. Hale

‎‎(University of Alabama at Birmingham), Michael Howell-Moroney (University of ‎Alabama at Birmingham), LaToya J. ONeal (University of Alabama-Birmingham)‎

Digital adaptability: New construct and measure for digital inequality research ‎  ‎*Cassidy Puckett (Northwestern University)

‎Roundtable 3

Socioeconomic inequality, education and social capital: What factors

‎shape social network growth among college students?‎

‎*Howard T. Welser (Ohio University), Brandon Brooks (Ohio University)

Bernard ‎Hogan (University of Toronto), Scott Titsworth (Ohio University)

‎Affordances for Networked Activism: Evaluating the capacities of ‎social

Movement sites to connect and motivate activists

‎*Nina Cesare (Ohio University), *Howard T. Welser (Ohio University)‎

Chinese Netizens and China’s Democratization: The Political ‎Consequences

of the Rise of the Chinese Netizens  ‎*Ya-Wen Lei (University of Michigan)‎

Roundtable 4

Cultural Fragmentation, Popular Culture, and Changing Perceptions of

‎Deviance Among Generation Y.‎ ‎*J. M. Larshus (SUNY-Albany), William J. Kinney (University of St. Thomas)‎

More than a Panic: Correlates of the Importance of Drugs and ‎Unemployment ‎*Jarrett Alan Thibodeaux (Vanderbilt University)‎

Terri’s Fate: Regional and Political Differences in the Discussion of the End of Life Outcomes ‎*Katy Schindler (Florida State University), *JoEllen Pederson (Florida State ‎University)‎

Roundtable 5

Social Justice and the Virtualization of Health and Illness in the Age of

‎Biological Citizenship.‎ ‎*Alexander Stingl (Pompeii-Project EU)‎

The Golden Era: Authenticity, Invented Tradition and Hip-Hop History

‎*Michael Barnes (California State University, Long Beach)‎

Transformative Social Processes of Cyberspace:

Applying the Theories ‎of Durkheim and Weber to the Internet

‎*David Drissel (Iowa Central Community College)‎

Roundtable 6

Measuring Electronic Government Procurement Success and Testing ‎for the

Moderating Effect of Computer Self-efficacy ‎*Chyi-Lu Jang (National Sun Yat-Sen University)‎

Strategic Choice Models in a Globalized Marketplace:

Perspectives ‎through the RBV and TCE Theoretical Lenses

‎*Zengie Mangaliso (Westfield State College), Mzamo P. Mangaliso (Eugene

M. ‎Isenberg School of Management, UMass/Amherst)‎

Roundtable 7

A Comparison of Promoter and Listener Preferences for Popular Music Artists

‎*Patricia L. Donze (University of California-Los Angeles)‎

Institutional Structures of Online Knowledge Production: Wikipedia, ‎Knol and Citizendium

‎*Edo Navot (University of Wisconsin – Madison)‎

Science’s Taste for Open Access

‎*James A. Evans (University of Chicago)‎

Roundtable 8

Table Presider: John P. Robinson (University of Maryland) ‎

Status Dynamics in Online Gift Exchange:

How Competition and the ‎Spread of Status Value Shape Reciprocity

‎*Patrick Park (Cornell University)‎

The Outreach of Barack Obama to the African American Community ‎Using

Online Social Networking

‎*Cynthia Love (Siena College), Sudarat Musikawong (Siena College)‎

IT, TV AND Time Displacement: A 45-Year Comparison

‎*John P. Robinson (University of Maryland)

3:30 pm, Business meeting and Awards Ceremony, Atlanta Marriott Marquis

Parental Mediation, Online Activities and Cyberbullying Gustavo Mesch

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of exposure to online risks and parental mediation on the likelihood of cyberbullying in a large and representative sample of the youth population of the U.S.

Conceptualization of Cyberbullying

This study relies on the routine-activities theory of victimization (Felson and Cohen, 1979). The basic assumption underlying the lifestyle exposure theory is that differences in the likelihood of victimization are attributed to differences in personal lifestyles of the victims. Variations in lifestyles are important because they are related to exposure to dangerous spaces where there are high risks of victimization. In victimization studies, space is a critical element. Cohen and Felson (1979), contend that exposure to personal victimization is more likely when there is a  convergence in space of motivated offenders, suitable targets, and absence of effective guardianship.

In order to apply this perspective to Internet studies, the internet should be considered as a new space of activity of youth. The innovative aspect of the Internet is to provide opportunities for activities that induce social interaction resulting in providing a space for meeting new individuals, and in that sense the social use represents more than a communication channel, in many cases a space of social activity. Feld (1981) uses the concept of foci of activity, defining them as “social, psychological, legal or physical objects around which joint activities are organized.”  From this perspective, foci of activity place individuals in proximity (for example, they provide opportunities for frequent meetings), which causes individuals to reveal themselves to each other.The Internet bring individuals to perform many regular activities and social interaction develops.

As youth use the Internet for their daily routine activities it can be argued that online activities differ in the extent that they expose youth to risks of being bullied. Consistent with this argument there is some evidence that Internet frequent use and high level of Internet skills increase the risk of being online bullied . It can be expected, that youth that participate in Internet activities in which there is a high likelihood of providing contact and personal information are at a higher risk that youth that use the Internet mainly to search for information provided in web pages. Thus in this study is expected that having a profile in a social networking site and participating in a clip sharing site increase the risk of being bullied online.

Online bullying requires some knowledge about the victim. When conducting online activities, individuals differ in the extent that they are willing to share personal information. Some are less willing to provide contact and personal information than others. Thus, it is expected that individuals that express more willingness to provide personal information are at a higher risk of being bullied than the ones that are express more reservations in sharing this information.

Parental mediation

An additional concept in routine activity theories is guardianship that refers to the use of protective activities to decrease the risk of victimization and refers to actions or people whose presence would discourage a crime from taking place. Guardianship may have a ‘human element’, that is usually a person that by their mere presence would deter potential offenders from perpetrating an act.  A capable guardian could also be an electronic device such as a closed capture camera providing that someone is monitoring it at the other end of the camera.

This concept has been used slightly different in the media literature. Parental mediation is a concept that has been used in media research to understand the process of television influence on audience attitudes and behaviors. According to the parental mediation model individuals are exposed to media content that may affect their attitudes and behaviors ( Rothfuss-Buerkel, & Buerkel. 2001) The model assumes that this effect is mediated by intervening variables in a way that the extent that some viewers may adopt attitudes and behaviors presented in the media is dependent on parent activities that affects how the information is received, processed and acted on by the audiences(Bybee, Robinson and Turow (1982). According to the literature there are various types of mediation, but we restrict our discussion to only two techniques: 1 Restrictive mediation involves limiting the child amount of viewing time and the programs watched. It is restrictive as does not involve the active participation of the child and is a decision of the parent. In this study it was measured by the use of electronic devices that restrict the content and web sites that the youth is exposed to. 2. Evaluative mediation represents the open discussion on issues related to Internet use, evaluation of content and subsequently the joint creation of rules regarding amount of time for Internet use, websites that are allowed and not allowed and placing the computer in a common space that allows parents to co-use the internet with their children and to be available for questions (Eastin, Bradley, Greenberg & Hofschire, 2006; Bybee, Robinson & Turow (1982).

Age and gender should be considered as well. Studies have found that the risk of being bullied is higher for older adolescents and lower for younger adolescents (Patchin and Hinduja, 2006; Mitchell et al, 2007). This age difference may be the result of developmental factors that affect the extent and type of Internet use. It is very likely that as youth growth older they engage in more activities with unknown others that result in an increased risk for being bullied online. The evidence regarding gender differences in exposure to cyberbullyng is mixed. Some studies did not find gender differences, and boys and males did not differ in the extent of self reported cyber bullying (Li, 2006; Mitchell, et. al, 2007; Pachin and Hinduja, 2006; Hinduja and Patchin, 2008). Yet there is some evidence that boys and girls use the Internet differently and are exposed to different types of parental mediation.


Participants comprised 935 teens aged 12 to 17 years old and their parents living in continental US. Participants were recruited by means of a representative sample of the youth population of the U.S. The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates int. Interviews were conducted during the October-November 2006. The response rate for the survey was 46 percent.


we compared youth that have reported being a victim of cyber bullying with the ones that have not. Victims and non victims did differ in terms of their family social background.  Youth reporting having been victim of online bullying, their parents report on average a higher education than youth that report not have been a victim of bullying (M=5.02, SD= 1.53 and M=4.09, SD= 1.52,  p<.001). Online victims of bullying are on average older than non-victims. While the average age of victims of online bullying is 15.11 the average age of the non victims is 14.43 (p<.01).  Gender is associated with bullying and it was found that while only 39 percent of the males were victims, 61 percent of the girls reported being bullied at least once.

Regarding the existence of parental rules, parents of non-victims are more likely to have rules on Internet use.  The percentage of non victims of bullying reporting the existence of parental rules on web sites that are allowed to visit, time that they are allowed to be online, is higher among non-victims than among victims.

Online activities were found associated with online bullying. When inspecting the association of reporting being bullied and online activities a significant association was found between victimization and having an active profile in social network site (Chi=93.68 p</001), participation in public chat rooms (Chi=16.78 p<.001) and participation in youtube (Chi=27.70 p<.001). Online bullying was not found to be associated with playing online games. In the next step a multivariate analysis using logistic regression modeling was conducted because the dependent variable victimization is a dummy variable. Youth that frequently send text messages, IM messages and emails to their friends are at a higher risk of victimization. Furthermore, independently of online activities youth that are willing to disclose more personal information are at a higher risk of victimization than children that are less willing to disclose personal information.

Regarding the potential protective effect of parental mediation, the results are mixed. From all the restrictive mediation techniques, only monitoring web sites visited by the youth decreases the risk of victimization. The existence of rules on sites that the children are allowed to visit is statistically significant indicating that the existence of this rule decreases the odds of online cyber bullying victimization. However, other rules such as computer location, rule on time allowed to be online and rules on information share were not found to have a statistically significant effect.

The results indicate that online participation in online communication of any type is an increased risk of victimization and that parental monitoring providing guidance and restriction to web sites is effective as a protective mechanism.

An important finding is that one of the measures of evaluative mediation, namely rules on websites that adolescents are allowed to visit, was statistically significant decreasing the risk of exposure to online bullying. This result, while modest, informs us on the important role of parents engaging in conversations on the nature of websites, their content and their possible risks. Some of these sites might be related directly to the risk of victimization if parents discussing online risks are able to create awareness in youth of the potential risks of engaging in discussions in chat rooms and participating in social network sites.

An early version of the manuscript can be found at

Gauging and Debunking the Effects of ICTs: The third annual special issue of the iCS/communication and information technologies section of the American Sociological Association

Information, Communication & Society,

Volume 13 Issue 4 2010

Gustavo S. Mesch & Shanyang Zhao, special issue Editors

Editorial Comment
Gauging and debunking the effects of ICTs

Gustavo S. Mesch; Shanyang Zhao
Pages 467 – 469

Making sense of emerging phenomena and rethinking existing concepts

Pablo Javier Boczkowski
Pages 470 – 484

Noelle Chesley
Pages 485 – 514

Eszter Hargittai; Yu-li Patrick Hsieh
Pages 515 – 536

Social intelligence and loafing in information pools

Coye Cheshire; Judd Antin
Pages 537 – 555

Gina Neff; Brittany Fiore-Silfvast; Carrie Sturts Dossick
Pages 556 – 573

Israel Supreme Court: Talkbackers needn’t be exposed in libel cases – Haaretz – Israel News

In an important ruling the Supreme Court of Israel denies the right of disclosure of the names of talkbakers. While there is no doubt that talkbackers in Israel are uneducated, rude and nasty, the Supreme Court defends the fundamental online  right to freedom of speech and privacy, even of opinions that the majority do not accept and that can be harmful to the public reputation of the one’s being under talkbackers attack.

The entire article from the English edition of the Haaretz is below

Israel Supreme Court: Talkbackers needn’t be exposed in libel cases – Haaretz – Israel News.