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September 12, 2001

Sexual Solicitation of Youth on the Internet—Reply

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;286(10):1176-1177. doi:10.1001/jama.286.10.1173

In Reply: We did examine some of the parent and caretaker characteristics mentioned by Dr Hlaing. In addition to supervision, rules, and use of filtering software, we asked parents a series of questions about their own Internet use and assessed the quality of the parent-child relationship. Specifically, we asked parents how many days per week they spent time online, how many hours they spent online on a typical day, whether they used the Internet for work, school, or personal interests, how much experience they had using the Internet, how important the Internet was in their lives, whether their child knew more about the Internet than they did, as well as a series of questions about the quality of their relationship with their children. None of these items were related to unwanted sexual solicitation at either a univariate or multivariate level. Although there may be a significant generational divide between parents and youth, our findings suggest that parents' Internet knowledge and skill do not appear to play a role in the risk of unwanted online sexual solicitation of youth.