Sexting among Teenagers in the United States: A Retrospective Analysis of Identifying Motivating Factors, Potential Targets, and the Role of a Capable Guardian




Martinez-Prather, Kathy
Vandiver, Donna

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International Journal of Cyber Criminology


Sexting is often broadly defined as the sending and/or receiving of sexually suggestive images or messages to peers through a cell phone (Mitchell et al., 2012). The use of broad definitions and sampling methods among prior sexting studies has produced variations in the research findings. The current study provides a retrospective examination of sexting among 378 teenagers sampled from university college freshmen at a midsize southern university in the United States regarding sexting attitudes and behaviors during high school. Approximately one-third of the participants reported sending a sexting image of himself or herself in high school to someone else using a cell phone. Those who reported more texting use, in general and those who spent more time with friends in an unsupervised setting were significantly more likely to report sexting. Parental monitoring, however, was not significantly related to sexting. The implications of these findings are discussed.



texting, routine activities, capable guardian, sexting, Criminal Justice and Criminology


Martinez-Prather, K., & Vandiver, D. M. (2014). Sexting among teenagers in the United States: A retrospective analysis of identifying motivating factors, potential targets, and the role of a capable guardian. International Journal of Cyber Criminology, 8(1), pp. 21–35.


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