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The Research Advisory Board (RAB) is comprised of scholars and researchers whose research addresses children’s online safety.  The RAB was constructed to help the Task Force develop a rich understanding of what is currently known about online safety issues with respect to youth. Members of the RAB were selected based on their longstanding, ongoing, and original contributions to this field of research.  All members of the RAB are U.S.-based and do research with U.S. populations, although we consulted with scholars from outside of the U.S. as well. The RAB is chaired by danah boyd, one of the Task Force's co-directors and a scholar in this area.

Literature Review

As part of its contribution, the RAB organized a Literature Review of known research concerning children’s online safety.  This Lit Review aggregates original, published research addressing online sexual solicitation, online harassment and bullying, and exposure to problematic content.  Andrew Schrock, the Assistant Director of the Annenberg Program in Online Communities at University of Southern California, was commissioned to organize the research and craft this document alongside danah boyd.  The goal was to be inclusive, although U.S.-focused, recent, large scale, quantitative studies and those that addressed social media are given priority.

The Literature Review is now available for public review.


At each meeting, members of the RAB presented their research findings to the Task Force:

  • Teens Online: Stranger Contact and Cyberbullying: What research is telling us (April 30, 2008)
    Amanda Lenhart, Pew Internet & American Life Project
    Presentation in .pdf    video
  • Youth & Law Enforcement Surveys (April 30, 2008)
    Janis Wolak, Crimes against Children Research Center
    Presentation in .pdf    video
  • Social networking sites, unwanted sexual solicitation, Internet harassment, and cyberbullying (April 30, 2008)
    Michele Ybarra, Internet Solutions for Kids, Inc.
    Presentation in .pdf    video
  • Panel Q&A with Amanda Lenhart, Janis Wolak, and Michele Ybarra (April 30, 2008)
  • Youth Exposure to Pornography and Violent Web Sites (June 20, 2008)
    Michele Ybarra, Internet Solutions for Kids, Inc.
    Presentation in .pdf    video
  • Online Abuse and Crime By Youth: Results from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Survey of Internet and At-risk Behaviors (September 24, 2008)
    Samuel McQuade, RIT
    Presentation in .pdf   video

Presenters also provided some scholarly literature for further reading:

Research Advisory Board Members

David Finkelhor, Ph.D., is the Director of the Crimes against Children Research Center, Co-Director of the Family Research Laboratory and Professor of Sociology at the University of New Hampshire. He has been studying the problems of child victimization, child maltreatment and family violence since 1977. He has also written about child homicide, missing and abducted children, children exposed to domestic and peer violence and other forms of family violence. In his recent work, such as his new book, Childhood Victimization (Oxford University Press), he has tried to unify and integrate knowledge about all the diverse forms of child victimization in a field he has termed Developmental Victimology. He is editor and author of 11 books and over 150 journal articles and book chapters. In 1994, he was given the Distinguished Child Abuse Professional Award by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and in 2004 he was given the Significant Achievement Award from the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers.

Sameer Hinduja, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University. He works nationally and internationally with schools, law enforcement, business, parents, and adolescents to reduce online victimization and its real-world consequences. His cyberbullying research has been featured in hundreds of print and online articles around the world, as well as on radio and TV. His most recent book is "Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying" with Sage Publications (Corwin Press), co-authored with Justin W. Patchin. They also administer together. Dr. Hinduja's interdisciplinary research is widely published in a number of peer-reviewed academic journals,including Journal of Adolescence, Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, Journal of School Violence, Ethics and Information Technology, CyberPsychology and Behavior, and Security Journal.

Amanda Lenhart is a Senior Research Specialist with the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and has been with the Project since its inception in 1999. Her work focuses on how American youth use networked technologies. Amanda is the lead author of numerous Pew Internet Project reports, including Teens, Privacy and Online Social Network; Teens and Social Media; Writing, Technology and Teens and most recently Teens, Video Games and Civics. For her research about and knowledge of youth and their use of the Internet, Amanda has testified before a congressional subcommittee, the FTC and the U.S. States’ Attorneys General, and presented her work at numerous academic and non-academic conferences and briefings as well as to the media. Amanda graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College with a double major in English and Anthropology, and she earned a Masters with distinction from Georgetown University in Communications, Culture and Technology.

Sam McQuade, Ph.D., currently serves as the Graduate Program Coordinator in the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). He is a former Air National Guard security officer, law enforcement officer, police organizational change consultant, National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Program Manager for the U.S Department of Justice, and Study Director for the Committee on Law and Justice at the National Research Council of the National Academies of Sciences. Professor McQuade holds a Doctoral Degree in Public Policy from George Mason University, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington. In January 2008 he and colleagues completed the RIT Survey of Internet and At-Risk Behaviors involving over 40,000 K-12th grade students along with hundreds of parents and teachers in fourteen New York State school districts. Recent books include The Encyclopedia of Cybercrime and Online Bullying: Protecting Kids and Adults from Online Bullies.

Kimberly J. Mitchell, Ph.D., is a research assistant professor of Psychology at the Crimes against Children Research Center (CCRC) and research scientist for Internet Solutions for Kids. Dr. Mitchell received her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Rhode Island. Her current areas of research include youth Internet victimization and self-injury, with particular emphasis on the developmental and mental health impact of such experiences. She has directed or co-directed several projects including the First and Second Youth Internet Safety Studies, the Survey of Internet Mental Health Issues, the First and Second National Juvenile Online Victimization Studies, and the National Juvenile Prostitution Study. She is the author of several peer-reviewed papers in her field and has spoken at numerous national conferences. Dr. Mitchell is the 2005 recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Early Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Research in the Field of Child.

Justin W. Patchin, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He received his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University. He has presented on various topics relating to juvenile delinquency prevention, school violence, and adolescent Internet use and mis-use at academic conferences and training seminars across the United States. In particular, Dr. Patchin is an expert on cyberbullying, having conducted a number of empirical studies and published several articles in academic journals with Sameer Hinduja. Together they administer and recently authored "Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying" which is available from Sage Publications.

Larry Rosen, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills, is a research psychologist with specialties in generational differences, parenting, child and adolescent development, business psychology, and is recognized as an international expert in the "Psychology of Technology." Since 1984, he has studied reactions to technology in the US and internationally. His books include Me, MySpace and I: Parenting the Net Generation (Palgrave Macmillan) and TechnoStress: Coping with Technology @Work @Home @Play (Wiley), and he has written many articles for professional journals, and a monthly technology column for the newspaper The National Psychologist. His newest book, Me, My eLife, and I: Teaching and Raising the Net Generation (Palgrave Macmillan) will be published in 2009. Dr. Rosen has given keynote speeches to Fortune 500 companies and in dozens of countries and been honored twice as one of the Outstanding Professors in the California State University system.

Janis Wolak, J.D., is a Research Assistant Professor at the Crimes Against Children Research Center of the University of New Hampshire. She has a B.A. in Sociology from New College in Sarasota, Florida, a law degree from Southwestern University School of Law, and a M.A. in Sociology from the University of New Hampshire. She is a director of the first Youth Internet Safety Survey and a co-Principal Investigator of the second Youth Internet Safety Survey, the first and second National Juvenile Online Victimization Studies and the National Juvenile Prostitution Study. She is the author and co-author of numerous articles about child victimization, Internet-related sex crimes, and youth Internet use.

Michele Ybarra, MPH, Ph.D., is President and Research Director of Internet Solutions for Kids, a non-profit research organization in the US centered on understanding the impact on and opportunities for adolescent health represented by new technologies. She is well known for her work in the fields of Internet harassment and unwanted sexual solicitation, and has published extensively on the psychosocial characteristics related to these experiences by youth. She is the PI for Growing up with Media, a national, longitudinal survey of adolescents in the United States to identify the associations between violence in new media (e.g., Internet and mobile phones) and seriously violent behavior (CDC U49CE000206). She also is the PI for the CyberSenga project in Mbarara, Uganda which is examining the applicability of the IMB model for adolescent HIV risk behavior and integrating findings into the design of a novel, Internet-based HIV prevention program for youths (R01MH80662). Additionally, Dr. Ybarra is the Principal Investigator of an NIH / Fogerty Foundation study to develop and test the feasibility of SMS Turkey, a text messaging-based smoking cessation program for adult smokers living in Ankara, Turkey (R01TW007918).


Documentation and resources of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force...

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