Reducing Digital Inequality by Empowering At-Risk Youth to be Resilient against Online Sexual Predation Risks

What factors help some low-income and racial-ethnic minority youth be more resilient to online sexual predation risks than others? What programs, policies, or technology-based interventions might protect these youth from exposure to online risks?

Pamela Wisniewski will undertake a three-phase mixed-methods research plan to uncover ways to prevent the online sexual predation of low-income young women of color. In phase 1, she will conduct a 30-day daily diary study to examine the risk and protective factors that lead low-income young women of color toward or away from online sexual predation risks. Phase 2 will involve a mixed-methods study of young women’s interactions with others on social media. In phase 3, she will build upon the findings from the first two studies to develop and study a technology-based intervention to help teens decode online risks and respond to them. In addition to expanding her research focus and methodological expertise, Wisniewski seeks to gain deeper knowledge of adolescent psychology and ecological momentary assessment with mentor Candice Odgers, and computational mining of internet usage data with Dr. Sriram Chellappan.

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