In this study, we examined the relationships between sexting coercion, physical sex coercion, intimate partner violence, and mental health and trauma symptoms within a sample of 480 young adult undergraduates (160 men and 320 women). Approximately one fifth of the sample indicated that they had engaged in sexting when they did not want to. Those who had been coerced into sexting had usually been coerced by subtler tactics (e.g., repeated asking and being made to feel obligated) than more severe forms of coercion (e.g., physical threats). Nevertheless, the trauma related to these acts of coercion both at the time they occurred and now (looking back) were greater for sexting coercion than for physical sex coercion. Moreover, women noted significantly more trauma now (looking back) than at the time the events occurred for sexting coercion. Additionally, those who experienced more instances of sexting coercion also endorsed more symptoms of anxiety, depression, and generalized trauma. Finally, sexting coercion was related to both physical sex coercion and intimate partner violence, which suggests that sexting coercion may be a form of intimate partner violence, providing perpetrators with a new, digital route for physical and sexual covictimization.
In this exploratory study, we examine young adult undergraduates’ (n = 448) opinions regarding the use of social media for employment decisions, a practice that has been highlighted in the popular press and recent legal cases. Most of the young adults in our sample were not in support of this practice (only one third were), and most expressed a liberal view of what should be permissible for posting on social media without the threat of job termination (e.g., less than half believed that posting illegal sexual behavior online should result in termination). Additionally, those who were most opposed to using social media in employment decisions were older, had less self-control, were more endorsing of the hookup culture, and were more open to experience. We discuss these findings with regard to current social media/work life issues, suggesting that: (1) these opinions may affect companies and legal entities who are developing social media policies, but also (2) that young adults need to be aware that regardless of their opinions on the practice, their social media use could have long-term effects on their careers.
In this study, we examined the prevalence of lying during sexting in a sample of 155 young adult college students. More than one third (37%) of those who had ever had a committed relationship and approximately half (48%) of active sexters (i.e., those who had ever sent a sexual text message) had lied to their committed partners during sexting about what they were wearing, doing, or both. Most people (67%) lied to serve their partner in some way (e.g., make it better for their partner) but some (33%) lied to serve themselves (e.g., they were bored). Additionally, lying during sexting was much more common among women than men: 45% of women and 24% of men had lied during sexting with committed partners. When attachment characteristics were considered, attachment avoidance predicted lying during sexting among active sexters, even after controlling for gender. Therefore, lying during sexting, just like pretending orgasm in a face-to-face context, is more likely to occur among those with insecure attachments to relationship partners. We discuss the similarities and differences between sexual deception in face-to-face and CMC contexts and propose future directions for this research.
Relationship research and theory recognizes that individuals continue to monitor the availability of their romantic/sexual prospects whether or not they are already in a committed relationship. We use the term back burner to describe a desired potential or continuing romantic/sexual partner with whom one communicates, but to whom one is not exclusively committed. Although communication with back burners is not new, modern technology affords novel channels (e.g., social networking applications and text messaging) that individuals are using to connect with back burners. A survey study (N = 374) explored whether people used technology to communicate with back burners, as well as relationships between back burner contacts and investment model variables ( Rusbult, 1980). Results indicated that back burner activity through electronic channels was common, men reported more back burners than women, and that number of back burners associated positively with quality of alternatives. For those in committed relationships, no relationships were observed between back burner activity and commitment to or investment in the relationship. Implications and limitations are discussed.
A wide body of research has examined unwanted but consensual sex in a face-to-face context, focusing on intercourse, petting, kissing, and other sexual activity that people consent to even though they do not want to. Recent research has shown many people engage in sexual interactions via computer-mediated mediums; yet, to date, there are no studies that have investigated whether unwanted but consensual sexual activity exists in these contexts. In this study, we examined the extent to which 93 women and 62 men had consented to unwanted sexting within committed relationships and the attachment characteristics and motivations that are associated with this behavior. Approximately one half of the sample (52.3%) had engaged in unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner, and most did so for flirtation, foreplay, to fulfill a partner’s needs, or for intimacy. Among men, neither of the attachment dimensions was related to unwanted but consensual sexting. However, among women, anxious attachment was significantly related to frequency of consenting to unwanted sexting, and consenting to avoid an argument was a mediator in the relationship between anxious attachment and consenting to unwanted sexting. These results are compared to previous work on unwanted but consensual sex, and future directions are discussed.
Although much media attention has been directed towards sexting (transmission of sexual material via phone or internet), little empirical work exists on the topic. Moreover, the few studies that do exist have been inconsistent in their definition of sexting and measures of sexting behavior, which makes comparisons between these studies difficult. In this study, we provide a granular, descriptive analysis of sexting behavior within a cohort of young adults, focusing on the content of sex messages, the medium used to transmit these messages, and the relationship context in which these transmissions occur. We found that sexting was fairly common across all types of romantic relationships (committed, casual sex, and cheating), text messaging was the primary medium used to send sex pictures and videos, and the prevalence, motivations, and risks associated with sexting varied by relationship context. Considering the complexity and diversity of sexting practices within this cohort, we suggest that those studying sexting and implementing initiatives with young adults use more detailed (rather than general) definitions and questions of sexting behavior, and that they delineate between these different types of content, transmission media, and relationship contexts.
In this study, we explored how texting and sexting practices are related to attachment in college students’ (n = 744) committed romantic relationships. Participants completed a survey containing questions about their texting and sexting practices and attachment styles with relationship partners. Results showed that texting and sexting are relatively common in young adult romantic relationships, and texting and sexting are both significantly related to attachment style. However, whereas text messaging was more common among those with secure attachments (i.e., those with less attachment avoidance), sexting (both texts and pictures) was more common among those with insecure attachments, particularly those with higher attachment avoidance. Whereas anxious attachment predicted variance in sending sex text messages only, attachment avoidance contributed unique variance in sending both sex texts and pictures. This relationship was moderated by gender—avoidant men were more likely than avoidant women to send sex text and picture messages to relationship partners.
In this study, we examined two behaviors that could evoke Facebook jealousy and cause relationship problems among romantic partners: (1) Facebook solicitation behaviors (i.e., making or accepting friend requests with romantic interests) while in the current relationship, and (2) having romantic interests on existing Facebook friends lists. In our sample of 148 undergraduates, those who had lower commitment to their partners were more likely to make and accept Facebook friend requests with romantic interests during their relationship. However, commitment was unrelated to the number of romantic alternatives contained on one’s Facebook friends list or the frequency of Facebook solicitation while single. Additionally, attachment anxiety predicted Facebook solicitation behaviors, but this relationship was mediated by Facebook jealousy. Our findings confirm that Facebook is used to solicit connections with romantic interests both while single and during committed relationships; however, it is only those connections that are made during the relationship that are markers of lower commitment. Moreover, our study adds to a growing body of research that connects face-to-face relationship theories to the virtual environment.
In this study, we examined texting behaviours, text message characteristics (textese) of actual sent text messages and the relationships between texting, textese and literacy abilities in a sample of 183 American undergraduates. As compared to previous naturalistic and experimental studies with English-speaking adults, both texting frequency and textism density (proportion of textese) were greater, but category density analyses were similar to a recent experimental study with undergraduates. Interestingly, whilst overall textism density was negatively related to reading and spelling, some textism categories (e.g., omitted apostrophes) were negatively related to literacy skills, while others (e.g., accent stylisation) were positively related to literacy skills. The use of predictive texting was a moderator in this relationship. Our results may help explain the discordant findings between children and adults with regard to textese use and literacy skills, and also highlight the importance of conducting analyses of category density and predictive texting in studies of texting and literacy.
‘Phantom vibration syndrome,’ or perceived vibrations from a device that is not really vibrating, is a recent psychological phenomenon that has attracted the attention of the media and medical community. Most (89%) of the 290 undergraduates in our sample had experienced phantom vibrations, and they experienced them about once every two weeks, on average. However, few found them bothersome. Those higher in conscientiousness experienced phantom vibrations less frequently, and those who had strong reactions to text messages (higher in the emotional reaction subscale of text message dependence) were more bothered by phantom vibrations. These findings suggest that targeting individuals’ emotional reactions to text messages might be helpful in combating the negative consequences of both text message dependency and phantom vibrations. However, because few young adults were bothered by these phantom vibrations or made attempts to stop them, interventions aimed at this population may be unnecessary.
In this study, I examined reported frequency of text messaging, use of textese and literacy skills (reading accuracy, spelling and reading fluency) in a sample of American college students. Participants reported using text messaging, social networking sites and textese more often than was reported in previous (2009) research, and their frequency of textese use varied across contexts. Correlational analyses revealed significant, positive relationships between text messaging frequency and literacy skills (spelling and reading fluency), but significant, negative relationships between textese usage in certain contexts (on social networking sites such as MySpace™ and Facebook™ and in emails to professors) and literacy (reading accuracy). These findings differ from findings reported in recent studies with Australian college students, British schoolchildren and American college students. Explanations for these differences are discussed, and future directions for research are presented.
Recent negative media attention surrounding the use of text speak (shorthand abbreviations of words such as gr8 for “great”) and the potentially detrimental effects of text speak on literacy prompted this study of texting and literacy in 80 college students. Thirty-four text speak users and 46 nontext speak users were assessed on their proficiency and familiarity with text speak as well as their standardized literacy levels and misspellings of common text speak words. Results showed that while text speak users were more proficient with the vocabulary, both groups showed familiarity with text speak. More important, there were no significant differences between the two groups in standardized literacy scores or misspellings of common text speak words. Thus, our analyses showed that the use of text speak is not related to low literacy performance. Nonetheless, more than half of the college students in this sample, texters and nontexters alike, indicated that they thought text speak was hindering their ability to remember standard English. These conflicting findings are discussed within a framework of future directions for research.
In this study, we used Rasch model analyses to examine (1) the unidimensionality of the alphabet knowledge construct and (2) the relative difficulty of different alphabet knowledge tasks (uppercase letter recognition, names, and sounds, and lowercase letter names) within a sample of preschoolers (n = 335). Rasch analysis showed that the four components of alphabet knowledge did work together as a unidimensional construct, indicating all alphabet tasks administered were measuring the same underlying skill. With regard to difficulty of tasks, letter recognition was easier than letter naming, which in turn was easier than letter sounds, and uppercase letter names were easier than lowercase letter names. Most notably, most of the alphabet tasks overlapped, and the Rasch models for the single tasks were no more reliable than the combined measure. This suggests that these alphabetic tasks do not measure distinct skills but are instead indicators of a single ability. Consequently, we support the conceptualization of alphabet knowledge as a unitary construct, and suggest that those assessing and teaching alphabet knowledge in preschool use tests and methods that combine the various alphabetic tasks rather than separating them. These combined assessments will be more likely to capture the range of abilities within a preschool sample and avoid the floor and ceiling effects that have so often complicated early literacy research.
In this study, 114 preschoolers (M age = 53 months) completed a battery of literacy assessments to explore the interplay between name writing and letter knowledge in early literacy learners. Name writing was significantly related to children's letter knowledge, and the relationships were moderate to high. However, many children exhibited an incongruity in name writing and name-specific letter-recognition skills (i.e., they could write their names but not recognize the letters in their names, or recognize the letters in their names but not write them). When these two groups were contrasted statistically, the children with superior name-specific letter recognition (but poorer name writing scores) had significantly higher letter knowledge scores than the children with superior name writing scores (but poor name-specific letter-recognition scores). Writing one's name, in itself, did not appear to correspond to a literacy advantage. Thus, with regard to the recommendation that name writing be used as a literacy assessment tool in preschool, the results from this study suggest that name writing should be used as a measure of mechanical skill only and should not be used as a means to assess children's conceptual knowledge (of letter names, letter sounds, or the alphabetic principle).
We examined the effectiveness of a community of practice (CoP) model for introducing tablets to 139 faculty members at a higher education institution. Using a CoP within a systems model, we used large- and small-group mentorship to foster collaboration among faculty members. Most faculty members agreed that the project was well organized and activities were useful. In terms of measurable outcomes, many participants had developed plans for or completed scholarly activities related to tablets. Our findings support the use of CoP models to integrate technology within higher education. Additionally, they support such integrations as proof of concept for large, whole-campus technology integrations.
As online teaching has gained popularity in the last decade, evaluations designed specifically for online teaching have begun to emerge. In this chapter, I give an overview of some of the most popular self, peer, and student evaluations of online teaching. I also discuss the different approaches to teaching outlined by Anderson & Dron (2011) (i.e., cognitive behavioral, social-constructivist, and connectivist) and give recommendations for rubrics that align with these different pedagogical approaches.
In this study, face-to-face (FTF) and online students’ (N = 198) feelings of and desire for sense of community (SOC) in their courses were compared. In support of previous research, FTF students felt more SOC than online students. However, overall, relatively few students (FTF or online) expressed desire for SOC. Additionally, regression analyses revealed that different sets of student characteristics predict FTF and online students’ connectedness and desire for more SOC. Results are discussed with regard to the recommendation that SOC should be fostered in FTF and online classrooms, and future directions for research are presented.
"After a 16-year-old Fayetteville girl made a sexually explicit nude photo of herself for her boyfriend last fall, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office concluded that she committed two felony sex crimes against herself and arrested her in February.... 'That's crazy. That seems like overkill,' psychologist Michelle Drouin of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne said when she learned the potential criminal consequences for [the teens]. Drouin also has studied sexting among young people. 'It's becoming a way that people are initiating sexual contact with one another... One thing I definitely would say is that sexting has become so intertwined with budding sexuality that I think these are exactly the people who are going to be sending these pictures,'..."
"My research has really looked at the negatives of sending pictures [as opposed to word-only sexts], particularly when people are only doing it to satisfy a partner or because their partners have repeatedly asked, and in those cases - when people are engaging in what we've termed 'unwanted but consensual sexting' - it's actually also related to intimate partner violence. So, you have a lot of negative associations with sexting. I'm not convinced that sexting is a wonderful way to go in terms of increasing intimacy in a marriage." - Michelle Drouin (Excerpt from podcast)
"...In general, Drouin said, sexting tends to be associated with less healthful relationship characteristics, like attachment anxiety. For example, adults may send sexts because they’re afraid their partner will leave if they don’t. Or, they may sext instead of speaking face-to-face or physically touching because it allows them to maintain emotional distance... 'The people who are having actual sex are probably a lot more satisfied than the people who are sending these pictures,' she said."
"Michelle Drouin, an Indiana University psychology professor who studies technology, said the anonymity and connectivity of the Internet have created a 'sadist's playground.' 'People that want to distress other people can now do it in the comfort of their own home,' Drouin said. 'It has less repercussions than harassment offline, and the Internet allows for this emotional distance between the harasser and the victim.' "
"...'Sexual education programs need to be expanded to include digital sex,' said Dr. Michelle Drouin, Associate Professor of Psychology and lead author of the study. 'It’s about the responsible use of technology as much as it is about sexual relationships; people need to realize that even a private message could end up online. We need to be having conversations about the digital footprint as part of more general education about computer literacy and safety.' ... 'If you have a physical sex experience, there’s usually no evidence so it’s less likely to publicly haunt you,' said Dr. Drouin. 'Online sexual experiences are part of our culture now. We’re all leaving a digital footprint, and this means everyone can weigh in on our mistakes. This makes recordable incidents – like sexting coercion – even more traumatic.'..."
"Almost 9 out of 10 of our undergrads had experienced [phantom vibrations], and this population especially is really dependent on their phones, so it was totally unsurprising. It also wasn't very surprising that they're not bothered by them. I mean, we have technological foibles all the time that we deal with ... We're accustomed to dealing with the problems related to technology. We're not too bothered by them." - Michelle Drouin (Excerpt from podcast)
Interview with Michelle Drouin
Interview with Michelle Drouin
"...[Parents] might be missing the real, and really dangerous, sexting scandal — the one that few people, besides kids themselves, see. According to new research from Indiana University, as many as one in five sexters are actually coerced into sending sexual texts by threats or manipulation from their partner. The practice is so widespread among young people — and so deeply traumatic — that the developmental psychologist Michelle Drouin thinks it constitutes a new form of intimate partner violence. 'I think it is a surprising finding,' Drouin said. 'Coercion into sexting caused more trauma, for both men and women … than coercion into actual physical sex.'"
Interview with Michelle Drouin
"...A recent study in Computers in Human Behavior by Michelle Drouin and her colleagues at Indiana University-Purdue University suggests many young adults don’t support the use of social media when screening job applicants. They found that students who reported low self-control and high levels of “openness” didn’t like the idea of employers reviewing social media posts. These same students don’t think employers should make decisions based on a couple offensive posts. Additionally, most young adults in the study expressed liberal views about what is acceptable to post online..."
Interview with Michelle Drouin
Interview with Michelle Drouin
"...Dibble and Drouin set out to investigate how the back burner phenomenon might be playing out today. To do so they decided to recruit young men and women as volunteers for a study of if and how they might use modern technologies such as social media, texting, and so on to maintain back burner relationships..."
"In 2009, the Pew Center for Internet and American Life published survey findings that 4 percent of adolescents 12 to 17 years old had sent "sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images or videos" of themselves to someone else via text message.
That sparked a "sexting" panic over the unsettling implications of young people engaging in this type of illicit interaction, as well as legal issues involving the cell phone-transmitted photos that could be deemed child pornography. Consequently, much of the media attention to sexting has focused solely on adolescent behavior, yet the act of sexting isn't limited to teens. Plenty of adults send racy text messages and cell phone pictures, too.
Psychology professor Michelle Drouin has studied sexting behavior among the college-aged population and found that around half of people in committed relationships had sent a sext photo to their partners, and two-thirds had engaged in sext messaging."
In this New York Times op-ed, Drouin discusses the frequency and prevalency of adult sexting.
"In light of the Congressman Anthony Weiner situation, sexting has been pushed to the forefront.
Assistant Professor of Psychology at IPFW Dr. Michelle Drouin was on our 5pm newscast with an in-depth look at how prevalent sexting is among adults and what role social media plays in the ease of committing such acts."
"We are excited to continue our exploration of childhood development with IPFW with our guest Michelle Drouin. She is a graduate from Oxford University with a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology. Her current research includes all aspects of literacy development. So if you want more information on sexting, texting or facebook - be sure to listen."
"Michelle Drouin , Associate Professor of Sociology at IPFW, says being anonymous empowers cyber ragers. 'Online you are not weighted down by any of the social stereotypes that normally plague you. You can be anyone you want to be,' she said."
In this article, Dr. Drouin discusses the phenomenon known as 'phantom vibrations'.
"Time magazine named the computer Man of the Year in 1983, the same year the United States got its first cell-phone network, and the country hasn’t looked back since.These inventions have not only changed the way we share information, but they’ve changed the way consumers respond to that information, says Michelle Drouin , an assistant psychology professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne."