Technology-Facilitated Abuse Prevalence and Associations Among a Nationally Representative Sample of Young Men

Laura Seewald, Tova B. Walsh, Richard M. Tolman, Shawna J. Lee, Lauren A. Reed, Quyen Ngo, Vijay Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

PURPOSE We undertook a study to determine the prevalence and associations of tech-nology-facilitated abuse (TFA)—insults, harassment, coercion, or threats carried out using digital tools such as smartphones and computers—among a US nationally representative sample of young men. METHODS Analyses were based on 1,079 men aged 18 to 35 years who completed ques-tionnaires during August and September of 2014 and reported ever having been in a romantic relationship. We used validated measures to assess demographics, health service use, mental health and substance use, and TFA delivered to and received from partners in the past year. We calculated survey-weighted descriptive statistics and conducted multino-mial logistic regression analysis. RESULTS Overall, 4.1% of men reported delivering TFA only, 8.0% receiving TFA only, and 25.6% both delivering and receiving TFA. Men were more likely to report only delivering TFA if they identified as Hispanic (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.72; 95% CI, 1.13 to 6.57), used marijuana (AOR = 1.31; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.68), and used prescription opioids for non-medical reasons (AOR 2.86; 95% CI, 1.48 to 5.54). Men were more likely to report only receiving TFA if they identified as Hispanic (AOR = 2.55; 95% CI, 1.01 to 6.43) and used prescription opioids for nonmedical reasons (AOR = 2.43; 95% CI, 1.34 to 4.39), whereas a primary care connection appeared protective (AOR = 0.43; 95% CI, 0.22 to 0.86). Men were more likely to report both delivering and receiving TFA if they identified as non-Hispanic Black (AOR = 2.83; 95% CI, 1.44 to 5.58), owned a smartphone (AOR = 1.80; 95% CI, 1.05 to 3.09), had ever had mental health care visits (AOR= 1.86; 95% CI, 1.16 to 2.98), misused alcohol (AOR = 1.10; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.17), and used prescription opioids for nonmedical reasons (AOR = 1.79; 95% CI, 1.04 to 3.08). CONCLUSIONS We found that TFA was prevalent among young men, with 1 in 25 reporting delivery only, 1 in 12 reporting receipt only, and 1 in 4 reporting both. Primary care physicians can consider assessing TFA among male patients and developing interventions to mitigate this behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-17
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Family Medicine
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Intimate partner violence, prevalence
  • Primary care
  • Screening
  • Technology-facilitated abuse
  • Young men

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

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