Youth, Young Adults, and Digital Abuse

Digital abuse is an emerging area in the study and treatment of traumatic stress. It impacts people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds, genders, orientations, and age groups, but youth and young adults are most impacted (59% of U.S. teens have been bullied or harassed online). 

Digital abuse refers to the use of a digital device (cell phone, tablet, computer, or smart device) to engage in unwanted aggressive behaviors towards others. It often involves using digital devices to create, share, and/or view harmful, false, and/or negative content about another person. Digital abuse can occur via social media, text, messaging apps, email, online forums, online games, and other virtual outlets. Specific types of digital abuse include cyberbulling, cyberstalking, doxxing, digital exploitation, leaking, revenge pornography, outing, catfishing, impersonation, and other harmful acts.

Beginning to be considered an Adverse Childhood Experience, digital abuse can cause toxic stress, pre-traumatic stress, traumatic stress, and long-term impacts from trauma for both survivors and perpetrators.

To learn more, browse the resources below or continue reading the Intro to Traumatic Stress Series.

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 Related Topics

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Adverse Childhood Experiences

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Young and Emerging Adults

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