Internet use among Ugandan Adolescents: Implications for HIV intervention

Ybarra M, Kiwanuka J, Emenyonu N, Bangsberg D. Internet use among Ugandan adolescents: Implications for HIV intervention. PLoS Med. 2006;3(11):e433. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030433 Abstract: BACKGROUND: The Internet is fast gaining recognition as a powerful, low-cost method to deliver health intervention and prevention programs to large numbers of young people across diverse geographic regions. The feasibility and accessibility of Internet-based health interventions in resource-limited settings, where cost-effective interventions are most needed, is unknown. To determine the utility of developing technology-based interventions in resource-limited settings, availability and patterns of usage of the Internet first need to be assessed. METHODS AND FINDINGS: The Uganda Media and You … [Read more...]

Examining characteristics and associated distress related to Internet harassment: findings from the Second Youth Internet Safety Survey

Ybarra ML, Mitchell KJ, Wolak J, Finkelhor D. Examining characteristics and associated distress related to Internet harassment: findings from the Second Youth Internet Safety Survey. Pediatrics. 2006;118(4);e1169-77. Abstract: OBJECTIVE: We sought to identify the characteristics of youth who are targets of Internet harassment and characteristics related to reporting distress as a result of the incident. PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: The Second Youth Internet Safety Survey is a national telephone survey of a random sample of 1500 Internet users between the ages of 10 and 17 years conducted between March and June 2005. Participants had used the Internet at least once a month for the previous 6 months. RESULTS: Nine percent of the youth who used the Internet were targets of online … [Read more...]

Impact of maltreatment on children served in community mental health programs

Walrath CM, Ybarra ML, Sheehan AK, Holden EW, Burns BJ. Impact of maltreatment on children served in community mental health programs. J Emot Behav Disord. 2006;14(3):143-156. Abstract: Despite a decline in the incidence of child abuse over the last decade, victimization rates remain troubling.This study used a subset of data from the national evaluation of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program to investigate and compare the demographic, psychosocial, and service use characteristics and outcomes of children with varying abuse histories referred into community-based mental health services. The lifetime estimate of abuse histories—physical, sexual, or both—among these children is 36.5%. A high level of clinical need across abuse … [Read more...]

Understanding the pre-referral factors associated with differential 6-month outcomes among children receiving system-of-care services

Walrath CM, Ybarra ML, Holden EW. Understanding the pre-referral factors associated with differential 6-month outcomes among children receiving system-of-care services. Psychol Serv. 2006;3(1):35-50. Abstract: The authors of this study used a subset of data from the national evaluation of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program to investigate the prereferral characteristics and experiences of children with serious emotional disturbance as they relate to indicators of clinically significant improvement and deterioration during their first 6 months of service. Minority racial/ethnic background, a history of substance and out-of-home placement were identified as predictors of deterioration at 6 months, higher levels of functional … [Read more...]

Help seeking behavior and the Internet: A national survey

Ybarra ML, Suman M. Help seeking behavior and the Internet: A national survey. Int J Med Inform. 2006;75(1):29-41. Abstract: Health-related websites have the potential to powerfully influence the attitudes and behavior of consumers. Access to reliable disease information online has been linked to reduced anxiety, increased feelings of self-efficacy, and decreases in utilization of ambulatory care. Studies report that Internet health information seekers are more likely to have health concerns; adult seekers are more likely to rate themselves as having poor health status and adolescent seekers are more likely to demonstrate clinical impairment or depressive symptomatology compared to non-seekers. Although more and more Americans are using the Internet for healthcare information, little … [Read more...]

Exposure to Internet pornography among children and adolescents: A national survey

Ybarra ML, Mitchell KJ. Exposure to Internet pornography among children and adolescents: A national survey. Cyberpsychol Behav. 2005;8(5):473-486. Abstract: Estimates suggest that up to 90% or more youth between 12 and 18 years have access to the Internet. Concern has been raised that this increased accessibility may lead to a rise in pornography seeking among children and adolescents, with potentially serious ramifications for child and adolescent sexual development. Using data from the Youth Internet Safety Survey, a nationally representative, cross-sectional telephone survey of 1501 children and adolescents (ages 10-17 years), characteristics associated with self-reported pornography seeking behavior, both on the Internet and using traditional methods (e.g., magazines), are … [Read more...]

Internet-based mental health interventions

Ybarra ML, Eaton WW. Internet-based mental health interventions. Ment Health Serv Res. 2005;7(2): 75-87. Abstract: Following recent reviews of community- and practice-based mental health interventions, an assessment of Internet-based interventions is provided. Although relatively new, many Internet mental health interventions have reported early results that are promising. Both therapist-led as well as self-directed online therapies indicate significant alleviation of disorder-related symptomatology. The number of studies addressing child disorders lags behind those of adults. More research is needed to address methodological issues of Internet-based treatments. PubMed ID: 15974154 … [Read more...]

Depressive symptomatology, youth Internet use, and online interactions: A national survey

Ybarra ML, Alexander C, Mitchell KJ. Depressive symptomatology, youth Internet use, and online interactions: A national survey. J Adolesc Health. 2005;36(1):9-18. Abstract: PURPOSE: To investigate the online communications and self-disclosure practices of youth reporting depressive symptomatology. METHOD: The Youth Internet Safety Survey was a nationally representative telephone survey of 1501 Internet-using youth between the ages of 10 and 17 years, and one caregiver in their household. Fifty-three percent of youth participants were male and 73% were white race. The purpose of the survey was to obtain prevalence rates for unwanted sexual solicitation, harassment, and unwanted exposure to sexual material among young people online. Questions about current depressive symptomatology … [Read more...]

Online aggressor/targets, aggressors, and targets: a comparison of associated youth characteristics

Ybarra ML, Mitchell KJ. Online aggressor/targets, aggressors, and targets: a comparison of associated youth characteristics. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2004;45(7):1308-16. Abstract: BACKGROUND: While most youth report positive experiences and activities online, little is known about experiences of Internet victimization and associated correlates of youth, specifically in regards to Internet harassment. METHODS: The Youth Internet Safety Survey is a cross-sectional, nationally representative telephone survey of young regular Internet users in the United States. Interviews were conducted between the fall of 1999 and the spring of 2000 and examined characteristics of Internet harassment, unwanted exposure to sexual material, and sexual solicitation that had occurred on the Internet in … [Read more...]

Youth engaging in online harassment: associations with caregiver-child relationships, Internet use, and personal characteristics

Ybarra ML, Mitchell KJ. Youth engaging in online harassment: associations with caregiver-child relationships, Internet use, and personal characteristics. J Adolesc. 2004;27(3):319-36. Abstract: To date, research focused on "traditional" (i.e. in-person) youth bullying behaviour has documented serious psychosocial challenges for those involved. How this literature translates to youth engaging in aggressive behaviours online has yet to be examined. Using the largest US sample of youth Internet users to date, psychosocial characteristics of youth engaging in Internet harassment were examined. Results from the nationally representative survey suggested that Internet harassment is a significant public health issue, with aggressors facing multiple psychosocial challenges including poor … [Read more...]