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Publication - Research and analysis

Engaging in risky online behaviour - prevalence and associated factors: initial findings

Published: 19 Mar 2021

Initial findings on prevalence and associated factors at age 12 from the Growing Up in Scotland Survey on engaging in risky online behaviour.

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73 page PDF

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Contents
Engaging in risky online behaviour - prevalence and associated factors: initial findings
10. Appendix

73 page PDF

1.1 MB

10. Appendix

10.1 Methodological notes

This report uses data from Birth Cohort 1 (BC1) of the Growing up in Scotland (GUS) study. Commencing in 2004, the GUS study has followed several nationally representative samples of children living in Scotland, from 10 months old[9]. The current analysis uses data from 3,419 families, and is comprised of 1,647 male and 1,641 female children.

Associations between variables were tested using chi-square tests, with a Bonferroni adjustment applied. A Yates' Correction for Continuity was applied to 2 x 2 tables.

For nominal variables, in 2 x 2 tables, Phi was used to measure the strength of the association. Cramer's V was used to measure the strength of the association for larger tables. Cohen's (1988) criteria of 0.1 for a small/weak effect, 0.3 for a moderate effect, and 0.5 for a large effect was used to classify the strength of associations.

Where possible, composite measures were constructed with responses averaged across a series of individual questions. Average scores were then grouped following established scales (e.g. hyperactivity, and emotional symptoms). Where an established scale was unavailable (e.g. closeness to resident parent, peer closeness, enjoyment / engagement in school) or unable to be accessed (e.g. life satisfaction, mental wellbeing, parent-child conflict), scores were grouped using a statistically generated cut-off point. These cut-off points have been included in the text where relevant. Cut-off points were selected to give equal sized groups, as the constructed variables were considerably skewed.

10.2 Supplementary Tables

Table 1. Correlation coefficients 1 for risky online behaviours
1 2 3 4 5 6
1. Added someone to friends/ contacts list you have never met face to face -          
2. Sent personal information to someone you have never met face to face 0.204 -        
3. Sent a photo or video of yourself to someone you have never met face to face 0.322 0.333 -      
4. Met up with someone face to face you first made contact with online 0.202 0.191 0.262 -    
5. Done anything online that you know your parents would not want you to do 0.198 0.106 0.210 0.094 -  
6. Lied to your parents about what you do online 0.190 0.147 0.216 0.125 0.402 -

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. Variables: CiRir, CilRii, CilRiv, CilRim, CilRip, CilRil

Table 2. Proportions of boys and girls who had engaged in risky online behaviours
Risky online behaviour Boys Girls Strength of association2
Added someone to friends/contacts list that you have never met face to face 40% 26% Weak
Sent personal information to someone that you have never met face to face 5% 3% -
Sent a photo or video of yourself to someone that you have never met face to face 8% 7% -
Met up with someone face to face that you first made contact with online 8% 6% Very weak
Done anything online that you know your parents would not want you to do 12% 6% Weak
Lied to your parents about what you do online 10% 6% Very weak

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. Variables: MiHGsx1

Table 3. Proportions of children in households with different qualification levels engaging in risky online behaviours.
Highest household qualification
Risky online behaviour No qualification Lower level qualifications Intermediate qualifications Upper level qualifications Degree level qualifications Strength of association2
Added someone to friends/contacts list you have never met face to face 34% 29% 36% 33% 30% -
Sent personal information to someone you have never met face to face 4% 3%* 5% 5% 2% Very weak
Sent a photo or video of yourself to someone you have never met face to face 7% 5% 6% 9% 7% -
Met up with someone face to face you first made contact with online 15% 3% 8% 7% 6% Very weak
Done anything online that you know your parents would not want you to do 11% 6% 8% 9% 10% -
Lied to your parents about what you do online 7% 7% 6% 9% 8% -

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. Variables: DiMedu10

Qualification level refer to: Lower level qualifications (Lower level standard grades and vocational qualifications); Intermediate qualifications (Upper level standard grades and intermediate vocational qualifications), Upper level qualifications (Higher grades and Upper level vocational qualifications), Degree level (Degree level academic and vocational qualifications).

Table 4. Proportions for associations between life satisfaction and wellbeing and risky online behaviours.
Life satisfaction* Wellbeing**  
Risky online behaviour Lower (≤ 16) Medium (17 – 19) High (20) Strength of association2 Lower
(≤ 29)
Medium (30 - 32) High (33+) Strength of association2
Added someone to friends/contacts list that you have never met face to face 41% 31% 23% Weak 41% 30% 23% Weak
Sent personal information to someone that you have never met face to face 6% 3% 2% Very weak 5% 2% 2% Very weak
Sent a photo or video of yourself to someone that you have never met face to face 10% 7% 3% Weak 10% 6% 3% Weak
Met up with someone face to face that you first made contact with online 8% 6% 5% - 8% 6% 5% Very weak
Done anything online that you know your parents would not want you to do 14% 6% 5% Weak 13% 7% 5% Weak
Lied to your parents about what you do online 13% 5% 3% Weak 12% 6% 3% Weak

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. Life satisfaction variables: CiWew, CiWed, CiWer, CiWea, CiWeg. Wellbeing variables: CiWs, CiWl, CiWt, CiWFr, CiWp, CiWf, CiWc

*Life satisfaction is measured and grouped using the Students' Life Satisfaction Scale (Huebner, 1991).

**Wellbeing is measured using selected items from the Kidscreen Health-Related Quality of Life scale (Ravens-Sieberer et al., 2005; the Kidscreen Group, 2006).

Table 5. Proportions for associations between hyperactivity and emotional symptoms and risky online behaviours.
Hyperactivity / inattention Emotional symptoms
Risky online behaviour Average (0 – 5) Borderline (6) Abnormal (7 – 10) Strength of association2 Average (0 – 3) Borderline (4) Abnormal (5 – 10) Strength of association2
Added someone to friends/contacts list that you have never met face to face 30% 47% 45% Weak 32% 34% 35% -
Sent personal information to someone that you have never met face to face 3% 10% 6% Very weak 3% 5% 6% -
Sent a photo or video of yourself to someone that you have never met face to face 6% 16% 13% Weak 7% 10% 8% -
Met up with someone face to face that you first made contact with online 6% 11% 10% Very weak 7% 5% 7% -
Done anything online that you know your parents would not want you to do 7% 14% 19% Weak 8% 8% 12% -
Lied to your parents about what you do online 6% 13% 18% Weak 7% 10% 12% Very weak

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. Hyperactivity variables: CiSDQrt, CiSDQfi, CiSDQdi, CiSDQth, CiSDQwk. Emotional symptoms variables: MiSDQ05, MiSDQ08, MiSDQ13, MiSDQ16, MiSDQ24. Hyperactivity and emotional symptoms scores were measured and grouped using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Hyperactivity was measured in the child questionnaire. Emotional symptoms was measured from the main carer questionnaire.

Table 6. Proportions for associations between family structure and risky online behaviours.
Family Structure
Risky online behaviour Lone parent Couple family Strength of association2
Added someone to friends/contacts list that you have never met face to face 36% 31% -
Sent personal information to someone that you have never met face to face 6% 3% Very weak
Sent a photo or video of yourself to someone that you have never met face to face 8% 7% -
Met up with someone face to face that you first made contact with online 9% 6% -
Done anything online that you know your parents would not want you to do 11% 8% -
Lied to your parents about what you do online 9% 8% -

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. Peer closeness variables: CiCrFrl CiCrFrc CiCrFrt CiCrFrb CiCrFrs CiCrFra.. Family structure variable: DiHGrsp04

Table 7. Proportions for associations between closeness to resident mother or father and risky online behaviours.
Closeness to resident mother Closeness to resident father
Risky online behaviour Low (<3.5) Medium (3.5-3.99) High (4) Strength of association2 Low (<3.17) Medium (3.17-3.99) High (4) Strength of association2
Added someone to friends/contacts list that you have never met face to face 42% 33% 24% Weak 40% 28% 25% Weak
Sent personal information to someone that you have never met face to face 7% 2% 2% Weak 5% 2% 2% Very weak
Sent a photo or video of yourself to someone that you have never met face to face 12% 6% 4% Weak 10% 5% 4% Weak
Met up with someone face to face that you first made contact with online 9% 8% 4% Very weak 8% 5% 4% Very weak
Done anything online that you know your parents would not want you to do 16% 8% 5% Weak 14% 7% 5% Weak
Lied to your parents about what you do online 14% 8% 4% Weak 13% 6% 4% Weak

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. Closeness to resident mother variables: CiNRMum1 CiNRMum3 CiNRMum5 CiNRMum6 CiNRMum7 CiNRMum8. Closeness to resident father variables: CiNRDad1 CiNRDad3 CiNRDad5 CiNRDad6 CiNRDad7 CiNRDad8.

Table 8. Proportions for associations between parent-child conflict and risky online behaviours.
Parent-Child Conflict
Risky online behaviour Low (<=6) Medium (7-9) High (10+) Strength of association2
Added someone to friends/contacts list that you have never met face to face 28% 34% 39% Very Weak
Sent personal information to someone that you have never met face to face 2% 3% 7% Weak
Sent a photo or video of yourself to someone that you have never met face to face 5% 8% 9% Very Weak
Met up with someone face to face that you first made contact with online 5% 8% 8% -
Done anything online that you know your parents would not want you to do 7% 9% 13% Very Weak
Lied to your parents about what you do online 6% 8% 11% Very Weak

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. Parent-child conflict variables: MiPDis1 MiPDis2 MiPDis3 MiPDis5.

Table 9. Proportions for associations between ease of making new friends at secondary school and risky online behaviours.
Ease of making new friends at secondary school
Risky online behaviour Very easy Quite easy Quite hard Very hard Strength of association2
Added someone to friends/contacts list that you have never met face to face 32% 34% 35% 30% -
Sent personal information to someone that you have never met face to face 4% 3%* 5% 6% -
Sent a photo or video of yourself to someone that you have never met face to face 8% 7% 9% 6% -
Met up with someone face to face that you first made contact with online 9% 6% 6% - Very weak
Done anything online that you know your parents would not want you to do 9% 8% 11% 10% -
Lied to your parents about what you do online 8% 7% 10% 10% -

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. Ease of making new friends variable: DiDsdem.

Table 10. Proportions for associations between closeness to friends and risky online behaviours.
Closeness to friends
Risky online behaviour Lower peer closeness (<=17) Medium peer closeness (18-21) High peer closeness (21+) Strength of association2
Added someone to friends/contacts list that you have never met face to face 40% 33% 25% Weak
Sent personal information to someone that you have never met face to face 5% 4% 3% -
Sent a photo or video of yourself to someone that you have never met face to face 9% 8% 5% -
Met up with someone face to face that you first made contact with online 7% 7% 7% -
Done anything online that you know your parents would not want you to do 13% 9% 5% Weak
Lied to your parents about what you do online 12% 8% 4% Weak

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. Peer closeness variables: CiCrFrl CiCrFrc CiCrFrt CiCrFrb CiCrFrs CiCrFra..

Table 11. Proportions for associations between face-to-face victimisation and online victimisation and risky online behaviours.
Face-to-face victimisation Online victimisation
Risky online behaviour Ever experienced Never experienced Strength of association2 Ever experienced Never experienced Strength of association2
Added someone to friends/contacts list that you have never met face to face 38% 27% Weak 51% 30% Weak
Sent personal information to someone that you have never met face to face 4% 3% - 7% 3% Very weak
Sent a photo or video of yourself to someone that you have never met face to face 9% 5% Very weak 15% 6% Weak
Met up with someone face to face that you first made contact with online 7% 6% - 12% 6% Very weak
Done anything online that you know your parents would not want you to do 13% 5% Weak 19% 7% Weak
Lied to your parents about what you do online 10% 5% Very weak 16% 6% Weak

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. Face-to-face victimisation variables: CiPick1, CiPick2, CiPick3. Online victimisation variable: CiPickT

Table 12. Proportions for associations between time enjoyment and engagement in school and risky online behaviours.
enjoyment / engagement in school
Risky online behaviour Low (<=18) Medium (19 – 20) High (21+) Strength of association2
Added someone to friends/contacts list that you have never met face to face 43% 32% 19% Weak
Sent personal information to someone that you have never met face to face 7% 3% 1% Weak
Sent a photo or video of yourself to someone that you have never met face to face 12% 5% 3% Weak
Met up with someone face to face that you first made contact with online 11% 4% 4% Weak
Done anything online that you know your parents would not want you to do 14% 8% 4% Weak
Lied to your parents about what you do online 12% 8% 3% Weak

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. School enjoyment / engagement variables: CiSch3 CiSch2 CiSch1 CiSch18 CiSch14 CiSch22.

Table 13. Proportions for associations between time on social media and risky online behaviours.
Time on social media
Risky online behaviour None < 30 mins 30 mins to 1 hour 1 hour to < 2 hours 2 hours to < 3 hours 3 hours to < 5 hours 5 hours to < 7 hours 7 hours + Strength of association2
Added someone to friends/contacts list that you have never met face to face 26% 22% 28% 28% 35% 39% 46% 56% Weak
Sent personal information to someone that you have never met face to face - 2% 1% 3% 6% 5% 7% 10% Weak
Sent a photo or video of yourself to someone that you have never met face to face - 4% 3% 6% 10% 10% 13% 17% Weak
Met up with someone face to face that you first made contact with online 7% 3% 4% 5% 6% 11% 13% 15% Weak
Done anything online that you know your parents would not want you to do 11% 7% 7% 9% 7% 9% 12% 20% Weak
Lied to your parents about what you do online 4% 5% 8% 9% 6% 9% 13% 16% Weak

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. Time on social media variable: CiTiN.

Table 14. Proportions for associations between how much parents felt they knew about what their child does online and what children felt their parents knew about what they did online.
Main caregiver: How much do you know about what your child does online?
Child: How much do you think your parents know about what you do online? Almost everything Quite a lot Just a little Almost nothing
Almost everything 58% 42% 25% 20%
Quite a lot 29% 42% 40% 39%
Just a little 10% 13% 27% 30%
Almost nothing 4% 3% 8% 11%
Total 800 1729 496 56

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. Knowledge of child's online activities – Main caregiver variable: MiPIpkn. Child's variable: CiiIpkn.

Table 15. Proportions for associations between how much child felt their parents knew about what they did online and engagement in risky online behaviours.
How much do you think your parents know about what you do online?
Risky online behaviour Almost everything Quite a lot Just a little Almost nothing Strength of association2
Added someone to friends/contacts list that you have never met face to face 23% 34% 48% 63% Weak
Sent personal information to someone that you have never met face to face 3% 3% 6% 13% Weak
Sent a photo or video of yourself to someone that you have never met face to face 5% 6% 15% 17% Weak
Met up with someone face to face that you first made contact with online 5% 6% 11% 16% Weak
Done anything online that you know your parents would not want you to do 6% 9% 16% 24% Weak
Lied to your parents about what you do online 4% 8% 15% 25% Weak

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. Knowledge of child's online activities child's variable: CiiIPkn.

Table 16. Proportions for associations between how much parents felt they knew about what their child did online and their child's engagement in risky online behaviours.
How much do you know about what your child does when they are online?
Risky online behaviour Almost everything Quite a lot Just a little Almost nothing Strength of association2
Added someone to friends/contacts list that you have never met face to face 27% 32% 42% 46% Weak
Sent personal information to someone that you have never met face to face 4% 3% 5% 15% Very weak
Sent a photo or video of yourself to someone that you have never met face to face 5% 7% 9% 26% Weak
Met up with someone face to face that you first made contact with online 6% 6% 8% 16% -
Done anything online that you know your parents would not want you to do 8% 8% 12% 24% Very weak
Lied to your parents about what you do online 5% 8% 11% 11% Very weak

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. Knowledge of child's online activities main caregiver variable: MiPIpkn.

Table 17. Proportions for how much parents and children felt they knew about protecting themselves (/their children) online.
How much do you know about protecting personal information online? How much do you know about protecting yourself/your child from strangers online?
Child Parent Child Parent
A great deal 72% 30% 70% 30%
Quite a lot 26% 53% 27% 52%
Not very much 2% 16% 2% 16%
Nothing at all 1% 2% 1% 2%
Total 3288 3288 3288 3288

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. Main caregiver variables: MiPknoP, MiPknoS. Child's variable: CiIKnos, CiIKnop

Table 18. Proportions for associations between child knowledge about protecting themselves online and engagement in risky online behaviours.
Knowledge of protecting themselves online
Risky online behaviour Less than a great deal (< 8) A great deal (8) Strength of association2
Added someone to friends/contacts list that you have never met face to face 37% 30% Very weak
Sent personal information to someone that you have never met face to face 5% 3% -
Sent a photo or video of yourself to someone that you have never met face to face 9% 6% -
Met up with someone face to face that you first made contact with online 8% 6% -
Done anything online that you know your parents would not want you to do 10% 8% -
Lied to your parents about what you do online 10% 7% Very weak

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. Time on social media variable: CiTiN

This category includes children who said they knew quite a lot, not very much and nothing at all.

Table 19. Proportions for associations between how often parents talk to child about online actions and risky online behaviours.
How often parents talk to child about: strangers online, protecting personal info, if bullied or harassed online, how to behave online, rules to follow when online
Risky online behaviour Never/Rarely (<=9) Sometimes (10-12) Often/A great deal (13+) Strength of association2
Added someone to friends/contacts list that you have never met face to face 30% 33% 36% -
Sent personal information to someone that you have never met face to face 4% 5% 3% -
Sent a photo or video of yourself to someone that you have never met face to face 7% 7% 7% -
Met up with someone face to face that you first made contact with online 8% 5% 7% -
Done anything online that you know your parents would not want you to do 8% 9% 10% -
Lied to your parents about what you do online 7% 9% 8% -

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. Parent talking about online themes variables: MiPMeds MiPMedi MiPMedb MiPMedh MiPMedr.

Table 20. Proportions for associations between parent rules/restrictions used and participation in risky online behaviours.
Multiple rules / restrictions used One rule / restriction used  
Risky online behaviour Technical restrictions Rules about what the child can do online Rules about how much time child can spend online Rules about when child can use the internet Other rules / restrictions None of these Strength of association2
Added someone to friends/contacts list that you have never met face to face 30% 50% 37% 34% 47% 39% 40% Weak
Sent personal information to someone that you have never met face to face 4% 9% 3% - - - 5% NA
Sent a photo or video of yourself to someone that you have never met face to face 7% 11% 10% - - - 9% -
Met up with someone face to face that you first made contact with online 6% 10% 11% 7% - - 11% NA
Done anything online that you know your parents would not want you to do 8% 16% 11% - - - 12% -
Lied to your parents about what you do online 8% 10% 8% - - - 11% -

Base: 3,419 children from Sweep 9 of GUS study. Parent rules/restrictions variables: MiPIntRes1, MiPIntRes2, MiPIntRes3, MiPIntRes4, MiPIntRes5, MiPIntRes6.Table Notes:

1 Associations were first tested using chi-square tests, all were significant at the 95% level. All phi coefficients displayed above are also significant at the 95% level.

2 Differences were tested using chi-square tests. Column totals are not shown as tests were run on each behaviour, not across all behaviours, so columns will not add up. Where significant, the strength of association was measured using either Phi for 2x2 tables, or Cramer's V for larger tables. Strength of association is described as:

Description Phi / Cramer's V value
Very weak / Very small < 0.1
Weak / Small 0.1 – 0.3
Moderate 0.3 – 0.5
Strong / Large > 0.5

Contact

Email: GUS@gov.scot