Teen Health and Technology
Because of contextual factors such as prejudice and social isolation, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth consistently report victimization rates higher than heterosexual youth. It is possible that LGBT youth may similarly face increased risk for victimization online. Alternatively, because the Internet equalizes the playing field by allowing people to communicate and find social support that may be lacking in face-to-face relationships, the Internet may represent a positive influence in the lives of LGBT youth.
Using an innovative online data collection strategy that enabled us to over-recruit LGBT youth as part of a larger sample of young Internet users, the Teen Health and Technology study examined the potential risk and protective factors that Internet use poses to adolescent health. Findings have applied implications for adolescent health research by identifying positive experiences both online and offline that have protective influences on stressful contextual factors for LGBT youth, as well as behaviors that should be targeted for prevention.
This project was conducted in partnership with colleagues at the Crimes against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire and the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Data collection was lead by Harris Interactive.