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Longitudinal Sexting Research: A Systematic Review

journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-10, 05:24 authored by Yunhao Hu, Elizabeth ClancyElizabeth Clancy, Bianca KlettkeBianca Klettke
The exchange of intimate messages, images, and videos via digital means, also referred to as sexting, has drawn considerable academic attention in recent years. Specifically, cross-sectional research has indicated that sexting can be associated with harmful outcomes such as depression, anxiety, and cyberbullying. However, there is currently limited empirical research examining the causal relationship between these factors, and to date, there has been no systematic review of the longitudinal studies on sexting. Thus, the purpose of this review is to summarise and review the current research addressing long-term outcomes and predictors of sexting. A systematic search of databases was conducted. Eight databases were searched, with twenty-four longitudinal studies meeting the inclusion criteria and thus included in this review. The quality of individual studies was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal tool. Overall, longitudinal research into sexting is scarce, and variability in definitions, measured variables, and sample demographics have created challenges in achieving consensus across variables. For example, findings were inconclusive regarding causal relationships between sexting, cyberbullying/bullying, and psychological health outcomes. Findings indicated that positive peer norms predicted sexting and that sexting was predictive of future offline sexual behaviours. Future longitudinal research would benefit from differentiating between consensual and non-consensual sexting behaviours in measurement. Future prevention efforts should focus on addressing peer norms that develop around sexting behaviours.

History

Journal

Psych

Volume

5

Pagination

526-544

ISSN

2624-8611

eISSN

2624-8611

Language

en

Issue

2

Publisher

MDPI AG