University of Potsdam, Germany
Pennsylvania State University, USA
University of Bremen, Germany
Address for correspondence: Sebastian Wachs, University of Potsdam, Department of Educational Sciences, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25, 14476 Potsdam, Germany. E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: The present study investigates frequency rates of sexting, and examines the associations of sexting with self-control and self-esteem as psychological correlates. The study sample included 1,818 adolescents between 12 and 17 years (Mage = 14.3, SD = 1.4) from Germany, the Netherlands, and Thailand. Across the three countries, the frequency rate for sending sexts was 8%, suggesting that sexting among adolescents is neither an epidemic nor a rarity. Both increasing self-esteem and increasing self-control decreased the likelihood of sending sexts. Additionally, self-esteem partially mediated the associations between self-control and sending of sexts and self-control partially mediated the associations between self-esteem and sending of sexts. The results indicated that education training should focus on increasing awareness of the potential challenges adolescents may face when engaged in sexting but also on intervention programs that enable adolescents to control their ICT-related behavior and empowerment training to build a positive self-view.
Keywords: Sexting, adolescents, self-control, self-esteem, social media, cross-national comparison