Unrestrained online behavior leads to real world risks.
PROBLEM: I'm going to put myself out there and say that most parents, regardless of how much they think they know about their teens' online lives, don't know everything about their teens' online lives. But some adolescents are less supervised than others; couple that with a history of abuse or neglect, and the question quickly becomes how to protect them from encountering even more harm.
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METHODOLOGY: Researchers in Cincinnati recruited a cohort of girls aged 14 to 17, half of whom had been "maltreated," meaning neglected or physically or sexually abused. The other half had no reported history of maltreatment, but were in other respects their peers: Overall, half the group came from single-family homes, with a mean income of $40-50,000.
The researchers analyzed the girls' public profiles from their "preferred social networking site" (if you want a good grasp on how quickly things change, this took place in 2008, and they were all on MySpace). They also analyzed their Internet risk activity by having them indicate their agreement with statements like: "I like going to websites that include sexual stuff," and "My parents are aware of the kinds of websites I visit."