Backgrounds: Among the problematic online behaviours, online grooming, that is, a manipulative process leading to sexual solicitation between an adult and a minor, is receiving increasing attention. However, most of the studies come from qualitative data, confirming that a formalized measurement tool is still missing. Moreover, online grooming measurement mostly relies on its latest, advanced stages, when the abuse and the actual exchange of sexual material has already occurred and reported to the authorities. The aim of the present study is to develop and validate a measurement instrument grasping the earlier stages of the phenomenon.Methods: The psychometric properties of the Online Grooming Risk (henceforth, OGR) scale were assessed in a validation study conducted on 316 adolescents, and its location within a network of psychological constructs relevant to the literature was examined with a non-parametric approach, the Structural Equation Modeling based on Partial Least Squares.Results: Results confirmed reliability and validity of the OGR scale. Moreover, its association with both protective (e.g., a good family support) and risk antecedents (e.g., low self-esteem), as well as with the development of clearly sexualized references, seems also confirmed.Conclusions: The OGR tool configures itself as a useful resource in perspective of an early detection of online grooming. The study also highlights the protective role of family support and low self-esteem as a significant risk factor.

Detecting online grooming at its earliest stages: development and validation of the Online Grooming Risk Scale

Paola Pasca;Fulvio Signore;Mariano Longo;Gianpasquale Preite;Enrico Ciavolino
2022-01-01

Abstract

Backgrounds: Among the problematic online behaviours, online grooming, that is, a manipulative process leading to sexual solicitation between an adult and a minor, is receiving increasing attention. However, most of the studies come from qualitative data, confirming that a formalized measurement tool is still missing. Moreover, online grooming measurement mostly relies on its latest, advanced stages, when the abuse and the actual exchange of sexual material has already occurred and reported to the authorities. The aim of the present study is to develop and validate a measurement instrument grasping the earlier stages of the phenomenon.Methods: The psychometric properties of the Online Grooming Risk (henceforth, OGR) scale were assessed in a validation study conducted on 316 adolescents, and its location within a network of psychological constructs relevant to the literature was examined with a non-parametric approach, the Structural Equation Modeling based on Partial Least Squares.Results: Results confirmed reliability and validity of the OGR scale. Moreover, its association with both protective (e.g., a good family support) and risk antecedents (e.g., low self-esteem), as well as with the development of clearly sexualized references, seems also confirmed.Conclusions: The OGR tool configures itself as a useful resource in perspective of an early detection of online grooming. The study also highlights the protective role of family support and low self-esteem as a significant risk factor.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11587/476726
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