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Sexting, psychological distress and dating violence among adolescents and young adults. Psicothemavol. Abstract: Background: Sexting is the exchange of sexually explicit or provocative content text messages, photos, and videos via smartphone, Internet, or social networks. Recent evidence enlightened its relationships with several risk and aggressive behaviors. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the amount of sexting, psychological distress, and dating violence in adolescents and young adults. : showed gender and sexual orientation differences: Males vs. Conclusions: suggested that moderate and high use of sexting could be a risk factor for some problematic behaviors such as dating violence, even if there is not a relationship with anxiety and depression symptoms.

Keywords: Sexting, dating violence, psychological distress, adolescence, young adults. Resultados: los resultados mostraron diferencias de orientamiento sexual, los hombres vs. Several studies in the last few years have investigated sexting behaviors among adolescents and young adults. Sexting has been defi ned by Chalfen as the exchange of sexually explicit or provocative content text messages, photos, and videos via smartphone, Internet, or social networks.

In Italy, where the present study was conducted, only two surveys on sexting behaviors among adolescents were carried out by Eurispes and Telefono Azzurro Regarding sexual orientation, few studies have investigated differences in sexting behaviors between heterosexuals and non-heterosexuals: In two different studies, Rice, Gibbs et al. On the contrary, Gordon-Messer et al.

Regarding the psychological wellbeing correlates of sexting, several studies reported inconsistent : Some authors underlined the relationship between sexting, depression, anxiety, and suicide attempts Dake et al. On the contrary, other investigations found no associations with psychological distress Hudson, ; Temple et al. Accordingly, Levine suggested that sexting should not be exclusively defi ned as a risky and unhealthy behavior but could be a new way for adolescents and young adults to explore sexuality.

Therefore, this study aims to investigate, in a sample of adolescents and young adults, the relationship between the amount Adult dating Calvert Alabama sexting behaviors and psychological distress, victimization, and perpetration of dating violence, and sexual orientation. Specifi cally, the purpose of this study was to verify whether high users of sexting showed more psychological distress, online and offl ine dating violence perpetration and victimization, and risky sexting behaviors i. Finally, we aimed to verify if non-heterosexual participants were higher users of sexting behaviors than heterosexuals.

The majority of participants were Italian Regarding their living situations, Regarding their sexual orientation, the majority of the participants were exclusively heterosexuals Socio-demographic data. Participants were asked about demographic data such as age, gender, nationality, family composition, and socio-economic status. Sexual orientation.

Participants assessed their sexual orientation via the Kinsey Scale Kinsey, on a 5-point Likert scale from 1 exclusively heterosexual to 5 exclusively homosexual. Three participants omitted to state their sexual orientation. Sexting behaviors. A modifi ed version of the Sexting Behaviors Scale Dir, was used to assess sexting behaviors.

The original version of the scale was composed by 11 items investigating only receiving, sending or posting provocative or suggestive text messages and pictures not considering videos. This scale did not evaluate other important details about the content: for example, it was not investigated who was the subject of the pictures.

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Therefore, we modifi ed the scale, adding eighteen items in order to investigate more deeply the three sexting sub-dimensions: receiving, sending, and posting sexts. The fi nal scale comprised 29 items and reached a Cronbach alpha of. The receiving sub-scale exhibited an alpha of. An additional item item 30 was added in order to assess the of people whom they exchanged sexts with i.

Two further items assessed the identity of people they exchanged sexts with, in terms of sending item 31 and receiving item 32 sub-dimensions i. Other three items item 33, 34 and 35 investigated sexting during substance use on a 5-point Likert scale from 1 never to 5 always : This scale reached a Cronbach alpha of. Finally, two more items assessed whether participants had ever been forced to sext, respectively by a partner item 36 or by friends item 37on a 5-point Likert scale from 1 never to 5 always.

The fi nal instrument was named Sexting Behavior Questionnaire and all the items are listed in Table 1. The Sexting Behavior Questionnaire is available from the fi rts autor. Psychological distress. Participants rated how often they suffered different types of symptoms over the last two weeks on a 4-point Likert scale from 0 more than usual to 3 ifi cantly less than usual. Higher scores indicated more psychological distress.

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Dating violence. Dating violence behaviors were assessed by a modifi ed version of the Confl ict In Adolescent Dating Relationships Inventory Wolfe et al. Each item was repeated twice to investigate the dimensions of perpetration and victimization: The fi nal scale was composed of 74 items rated on a 4-point Likert scale from 0 never to 3 often or 6 times or more.

Adolescents were recruited in secondary schools of Rome after receiving written consent forms from school authorities and their parents. Young adults were recruited via an online survey Firstly, we measured the frequencies of all sexting dimensions. After that, we ran a Chi-square in order to test possible differences in gender, age and sexual orientation distribution.

A Chi-square was conducted to compare three sexting groups regarding sexting with strangers and, fi nally, a MANOVA was run to compare the three sexting groups regarding psychological distress, perpetration and victimization of dating violence, also in the online dimension. For descriptive analyses of sexting behaviors, showed that participants As regards the three sexting sub-dimensions, participants Moreover, participants Finally, participants Means and standard deviations are reported in Table 2. On the basis of the total score obtained on the Sexting Behavior Questionnaire, participants were categorized into low, moderate, and high users of sexting, as ly described in data analysis section.

Regarding gender differences, males were more likely to be moderate users 6. Regarding sexual orientation, non-heterosexual participants were more high users of sexting behaviors Sexting groups did not ifi cantly differ regarding age adolescents vs. High users of sexting were more likely to send sexts to strangers 6. Specifi cally, sexting groups did not ifi cantly differ Adult dating Calvert Alabama psychological distress. This investigation aimed to study the relationship between sexting, psychological distress, victimization, and perpetration of dating violence, exploring also gender and sexual orientation differences.

The principal suggested that individuals who are high and moderate users of sexting vs. Moreover, high users of sexting vs. On the other hand, no differences regarding psychological distress were found between low and high users of sexting. A low percentage reported posting sexts on social networks at least once 8. Moreover, a sizable proportion of participants that should not be overlooked In line with our expectations, we found differences regarding gender and sexual orientation: Males vs. These are also consistent with research studies and suggest that higher sexting behaviors among non-heterosexuals could be due to a more frequent use of social media communication: As recently found by Chong, Zhang, Mak, and Pangsocial media facilitate communication and relationships, and improve psychological and social-emotional well-being among lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

Thus, social media could be a protective factor against stressors due to social stigma, prejudice and discrimination, as theorized in Minority Stress Model Meyer, Regarding age, no differences were found between adolescents and young adults: studies investigated sexting prevalence either among adolescents or among young adults Dake et al.

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Maybe this study could not fi nd differences between adolescents and young adults because the focus was on sexting frequencies: Probably some age differences could be Adult dating Calvert Alabama in a deeper investigation regarding motivations and expectations related to sexting behaviors. This study suggests that a high use of sexting is more related to other problematic behaviors.

Specifi cally, high users of sexting are more likely to sext during substance use, to be forced to sext by partners and by friends, and to send sexts to strangers. These extend similar fi ndings Benotsch et al. Specifi cally, moderate and high users of sexting are more likely to be perpetrators and victims of dating violence, including online, than low users of sexting.

suggested that moderate and high use of sexting could be a risk factor for some problematic behaviors such as dating violence, even if there is no relationship with anxiety and depression symptoms. Future studies should be conducted to examine more deeply whether there are differences regarding motivations, expectations, and attributed meanings of sexting behaviors among different groups of sexting use. Limitations of this study are related to the use of a convenience sample that could not be considered as representative of the population.

There could have being a social desirability effect due to the self-report questionnaire, even if they were anonymous. Moreover, this study was conducted only among Italian participants and so may be not generalized to other countries. Crosscultural studies should be conducted to extend and compare in other cultures. Moreover, psychological distress was assessed by a item self-report scale focused only on anxiety and depression symptoms but, probably, future studies could evaluate mental disease taking into also externalizing symptoms and personality traits that could be more related to sexting and dating violence.

Finally, this research evaluated risky sexting behaviors taking into the frequencies of behaviors. Benotsch, E. Sexting, substance use, and sexual risk behavior in young adults. Journal of Adolescent Health, 52 3 Calvert, C. Sex, cell phones, privacy, and the fi rst amendment: destruction. Chalfen, R. Visual Studies, 24 3 Chong, E. Social media as social capital of LGB individuals in Hong Kong: Its relations with group membership, stigma, and mental well-being.

American Journal of Community Psychology, 55 Dake, J. Prevalence and correlates of sexting behaviour in adolescents. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 7, Dir, A. Purdue University. Understanding differences in sexting behaviors across gender, relationship status, and sexual identity, and the role of expectancies in sexting. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 16 8 From the bar to the bed via mobile phone: A fi rst test of the role of problematic alcohol use, sexting, and impulsivity-related traits in sexual hookups.

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Computers in Human Behavior, 29 4 Prevalence and association of sexting and online sexual victimization among spanish adults. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 12 2 Goldberg, D. A scaled version of the General Health Questionnaire. Psychological Medicine, 9 1 Gordon-Messer, D.

Sexting among young adults. Hudson, H. Factors affecting sexting behaviours among selected undergraduate students Unpublished doctoral thesis. Justus, A.

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