Experiences of 11-16 year olds on social networking sites A survey of young people's online experiences and coping strategies
Researchers conducted an online self-completion survey in December 2012 of 1,024 11-16 year olds in the UK. They found that 28% of children aged 11-16 with a profile on a social networking site had experienced something upsetting on it in the last year.
This report describes those experiences and the strategies young people used to deal with the things that upset them online, including cyber bullying and stalking.
Authors: Claire Lilley, Ruth Ball and Heather Vernon
- Over one in four (28%) of children aged 11-16 with a profile on a social networking site have experienced something upsetting on it in the last year.
- Of the children and young people who were upset, 11% were dealing with upsetting experiences on a daily basis.
- The most reported issue experienced on social networking sites was trolling, experienced by 37% of children who had been upset.
- Other issues experienced by children who had been upset included: pressure to look or act a certain way (14%), cyber stalking (12%), aggressive and violent language (18%), encouragement to hurt themselves (3%), receiving unwanted sexual messages (12%), and requests to send or respond to a sexual message (8%).
- Over half of 11-16 year olds (58%) believed at least one of the people responsible for the behaviour which had upset or bothered them was either a complete stranger, someone they only knew online, or they did not know who it was at all.
- Only 22% of the children who were upset talked with someone else face to face about the experience.
|Why children are particularly vulnerable||6|
|11-16 year olds’ use of social networking sites||9|
|The experiences of 11-16 year olds||12|
|The experiences of boys and girls||21|
|Appendix 1: Methodology and ethics||29|
|Appendix 2: Profile of 11-16 year olds in our sample||30|
Please cite as: Lilley, C., Ball, R. and Vernon, H. (2014) The experiences of 11-16 year olds on social networking sites. [London]: NSPCC.
Neglect or emotional abuse in teenagers: Core info leaflet
Younger children and social networking sites: a blind spot
Sexting: an exploration of practices, attitudes and influences
Qualitative study of children, young people and 'sexting'
Helpline highlight: the under-reporting of sexual abuse
Boys and girls speak out: a qualitative study of children’s gender and sexual cultures
Online abuse: learning from case reviews
Services for children, families and professionals
Be Share Aware
Healthy sexual behaviour in children and young people
Our Current Awareness Service for Practice, Policy And Research delivers free weekly email alerts to keep you up-to-date with all the latest safeguarding and child protection news.
Follow us on Twitter and keep up-to-date with all the latest news in child protection.
We hold the UK's largest collection of child protection resources and the only UK database specialising in published material on child protection, child abuse and child neglect.
New in the Library
A free weekly email listing all of the new child protection publications added to our library collection.
Helping you keep children safe
Read our guide for professionals on what we do and the ways we can work with you to protect children and prevent abuse and neglect.
Impact and evidence
Find out how we evaluate and research the impact we’re making in protecting children, get tips and tools for researchers and access resources.
Get expert training and consultancy
Sharing knowledge to keep children safe
Read our guide to the NSPCC Knowledge and Information Service to find out how we can help you with child protection queries, support your research, and help you learn and develop.