Authors
Ricardo Barroso
Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Abstract
Sexting has been defined as sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, images, or photos to others through digital platforms, and can assume more consensual or more abusive and violent forms. This study aims to explore the prevalence of abusive sexting in Portuguese adolescents and the psychological characteristics of sexting abusers in terms of emotional and behavioral problems, potential markers of psychopathy, childhood trauma and maltreatment, and different forms of aggression. A cross-sectional study was conducted with 4,281 participants, aged 12–20 years, of whom 204 engaged in abusive sexting behaviors and 182 self-identified as being a non-consensual sexting victim. Abusive sexting was more common among boys and middle adolescents, and abusive sexting victims were more likely to be children of single-parent families. Engaging in abusive sexting and being a victim of abusive sexting were also related to behavioral and emotional problems, callousness, experiences of neglect and abuse in childhood, and various forms of aggression. Implications for future research and intervention are discussed.
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DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.610474
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