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Episode 229 - Dr. Lauren Reed: Digital Dating Abuse Among Adolescents: Understanding the Role of Gender and Developing Effective Strategies for Prevention

Monday, December 04, 2017, 8:05:59 AM

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In this episode, our guest Dr. Lauren Reed discusses her research on digital dating abuse among adolescents and why females are differentially impacted by this form of dating violence. She describes how the use of participatory action research has led to effective prevention strategies, and highlights the need to include digital media when assessing for dating violence.

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Average Rating: 5 stars (7 listener reviews )

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Average Rating: 5stars  highly recommend , Sunday, February 11, 2018

By Bekah Donlan :

Dr. Reed offers an insightful and important discussion on adolescent digital dating abuse. Anyone who works with adolescents, or have adolescents in their lives should listen to this podcast. Dr. Reed presents information in a clear and helpful way. She recognizes that there are both positive and negative aspects to adolescents using digital media. Adolescents today face a whole different area of pressure and potential for abuse in the digital world, which many adults may not fully understand. For example, Facebook is no longer something adolescents use, they are more likely to use texting, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. There are both positive and negative experiences with digital media. Some of the positives include feeling closer to their partners and feeling more connected. However, there are also some negatives to digital media. Digital media can be used to monitor, control, threaten and harass. Girls can get pressured to send sexual photos of themselves. The gender dynamics that are seen outside of digital media are also taking place in digital media. Girls are much more likely than boys to be pressured, asked and judged to send sexual photos, which can then be used to harass and control them. They are likely to be judged for both sending photos and also if they don’t send photos. Texting is a place where a lot of digital dating abuse occurs. Social media can also be used to monitor where their partner is and have control over a person. Dr. Reed recommends youth led and peer programs in order to make an impact on these issues. When asking an adolescent about their experiences with digital dating abuse it is important to ask whether or not it has happened, how often, and their emotional and behavioral responses to these situations. Overall, I found this podcast to be excellent and would highly recommend.





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Average Rating: 5stars  shannon -msw student review, Sunday, February 11, 2018

By Shannon Baehr :

I found the podcast to be very interesting and informative. I agree that digital dating abuse has become such an intense issue specifically with adolescents that needs to be researched and acknowledged. I enjoyed the discussions between cyber bullying and digital dating abuse and the differences. I thought the discussion with sexting was also vary interesting and how that compares and relates to digital dating abuse as well. I feel like Dr. Reed had very insightful information and understanding on these issues and the gender differences and the pressures and motivation that are involved with these issues that these adolescents are facing. I especially enjoyed the discussion about the role of social workers and the advice of prevention and interventions that social workers can use when working with adolescents.

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Average Rating: 5stars  digital dating abuse, Sunday, February 11, 2018

By Kellie D. :

This podcast is well done and a necessary topic for anyone who is working with adolescents or lives with adolescents. I find that people often are afraid to discuss the dark side of social media/the digital age and the impact it can have, particularly with adolescents. As someone who is currently working with adolescents in my fieldwork, I felt this topic is so crucial as its consequences can be far-reaching. Dr. Reed discusses Youth Participatory Group Research which empowers teenagers to be "experts" on their own lives. This type of prevention is so important because anyone who works with adolescents knows that giving autonomy to a teenager is essential. I also felt that Dr. Reed was correct in stating that sexual experimentation and the digital age should be considered developmentally normal. For social workers, it is crucial to assist clients in feeling empowered and shaming someone for normal sexual behavior can have the opposite effect but for an adolescent, it can have serious implications. Throughout the podcast, I felt Dr. Reed was informative and provided important information for both social workers and anyone who works/lives with teenagers. Her definition of digital dating abuse was clear, and she was able to provide a distinction between "normal" sexual media behavior and digital dating abuse. I would be interested to see in further research if there is a correlation between being a victim of digital dating abuse and teen suicide or depression. Great podcast.

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Average Rating: 5stars  very informative podcast, Sunday, February 11, 2018

By Hiral Amin-Sharma :

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Dr. Lauren Reed’s podcast on her research on digital dating abuse. She outlines the importance of having an understanding about digital media and how to best assess, intervene and prevent digital abuse. Social workers should be thinking about digital media abuse as, especially given how most teenagers and young adults use social media. This podcast really highlights the importance of preventative measures that should be taken early on to avoid teenagers and young adults from being victimized, and being perpetrators. In her studies she has found that 50-60% of high school students are sending sext messages, and as Dr. Reed expressed, you have to wonder how many are being pressured to do so. Dr. Reed gives some really concrete ways to collaborate with youth in developing strategies and preventative steps to safeguard teens using media platforms. In terms of the differences between genders, she explained that although both boys and girls are experiencing the behaviours at equal rates, the consequences seem to be more detrimental for girls. Her research outlined that girls tend to bear the social pressure, consequences, negative emotions, and incur more social judgement, than boys. Thus, she has incorporating young men into her work to help with preventative measures. Her explanation about the difference between cyber bullying and digital dating, shows that there is definitely another element of social media, and that social workers have to be aware, educated and working on prevention. I really value her insight in the importance of teaching teenagers about healthy digital boundaries, and the importance of working in collaboration with youth to develop healthier boundaries and expectations for youth. I think educating and sharing ideas with youth on the issues and concerns surrounding digital media can help them develop leadership roles, so that they can advocate against digital media abuse. Very informative podcast!

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Average Rating: 5stars  interesting view and insight on digital dating violence, Friday, February 09, 2018

By Taylor Hildreth :

Dr. Lauren Reed did a great job at explaining what digital dating violence is and why it is important to understand how it effects teens. She is mainly focused on the coercion and manipulation that occurs between couples through the use of digital and social media. Her podcast is fascinating because she discusses the most common platforms and ways teens experiencing digital dating violence. In Dr. Reed’s research she has found that naked photos are sent frequently among teens. She found that girls are more likely to be asked for sexual photos from their partners. Additionally, the consequences from sending photos or not sending photos are much worse for girls. If a girl doesn’t send a photo she is called a prude but if she does send a photo it can be distributed and then she can be called horrible names. I found her research very interesting and I love that she asks follow-up questions to get a better understanding on how digital dating violence effects teenagers.





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Average Rating: 5stars  great interview!, Tuesday, December 05, 2017

By Anonymous :

Wonderful overview of cutting edge research!

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Average Rating: 5stars  digital dating violence, Monday, December 04, 2017

By Anonymous :

Very interesting and informative!

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DISCLAIMER: The content shared by the presenter(s) and/or interviewer(s) of each podcast is their own and not necessarily representative of any views, research, or practice from the UB School of Social Work or the inSocialWork® podcast series.