Please join us on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 1:00 p.m. in Falvey Memorial Library’s Speakers’ Corner as Elizabeth Burgess Dowdell, PhD, RN, FAAN, presents her research findings, “A Multi-prong Approach to Child Internet Safety,” funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Dr. Dowdell will discuss how children have made the Internet their society, a world where they may never actually meet their "friends.” She will also illustrate how, in the diverse and complex settings of the 21st century, professionals and individuals increasingly encounter persons involved in high risk situations defined by the technology involved.
A study conducted to analyze the Internet patterns used by ordinary populations as well as Internet offenders will be discussed. This study with a “developmental” theme involved 404 middle school students, 2,077 high school students, 1,284 students drawn from 5 traditional four-year colleges, and 466 adult offenders defined primarily by having an Internet sexual offense or a hands-on sexual offense and/or prior Internet experience. Dr. Dowdell will clarify the key findings from the study and will share data from Internet offenders on their social-networking behaviors. Assessment, profiling, and interview techniques associated with adolescents and youth who participate in Internet risk behaviors will also be discussed.
Finally, Dr. Dowdell will offer ideas for policy recommendations, which include designing technologies and/or educational programs to identify suspicious online behaviors, strengthening Internet filters for student online protection, and establishing school outreach for students who are harassed, threatened or assaulted by someone they have met online.