Clare E. Gilligan, Mark D. Mehall, Amanda M. Pipik, Jessica K. Rutkousky, Alyssa C. Smith


This poster reflects research conducted as part of a course project designed to give students experience in the research process.



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This poster presentation delves into the different aspects of child abuse, the psychological effects of child abuse and how abuse is perpetuated through the use of the internet. With the ever advancing technologies available in our society today, children are constantly being exposed to images and messages of a sexual content. This poses a significant problem because with the anonymity of the internet it becomes impossible to see the person behind the username. Our focus will be how both the child and the predator become involved through the internet by means of chat rooms, blogs, social media etc. We will examine the factors that lead children to participate in these internet interactions such as neglect in the home, low self-esteem and sexual exploration. We will also assess the factors that lead the predator to seek sexual relationships with children such as continuing the sexual abuse cycle and/or mental issues. By allowing children to have access to the internet, parents maybe putting their children at risk for sexual abuse. We suggest that parents restrict and monitor their children's activity on the internet. We also believe there should be stricter internet regulations countrywide in order to prevent predators from producing sexually explicit content children may potentially access.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project

Primary Advisor

Shawn A. Cassiman

Primary Advisor's Department

Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work


Stander Symposium project

Research exercise: Child Abuse and the Internet