Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Researching online child sexual exploitation and abuse: are there links between online and offline vulnerabilities?

Quayle, Ethel (2016) Researching online child sexual exploitation and abuse: are there links between online and offline vulnerabilities? Global Kids Online. The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (1MB) | Preview


This Guide is concerned with the methods used in research into online child exploitation and abuse. There are challenges for researchers in the variety of definitions used, how they are operationalised, and how they are measured, which makes comparison between studies difficult. The research is dominated by surveys, many of which have been developed with little regard to their content validity or their psychometric properties. There are, however, good examples of survey methodology, as evidenced in the Juvenile Victimisation Questionnaire (JVQ). Surveys are also reliant on self-report, which may be influenced by recall issues, respondent bias and subjective interpretation of questionnaire items. This Guide explores some of these methodological issues and how researchers have responded to them. It also considers the central assumption that online sexual abuse and exploitation causes harm. Many of the studies reviewed are cohort studies that sample their population at a single time point; however, this Guide identifies more recent, longitudinal studies that go beyond establishing a relationship between online exploitation and abuse and psychosocial well-being to look at what might predict change. The majority of the studies identified were from high-income countries. While there has been research in low-middle-income countries, these have relied on convenience sampling and small sample sizes, with an over-reliance on descriptive case studies. The Guide concludes with identifying good practice and providing some easily accessible resources to facilitate the development of robust research.

Item Type: Monograph (Report)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The London School of Economics and Political Science © CC BY-NC 4.0
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Research centres and groups > Global Kids Online
Research centres and groups > EU Kids Online
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2017 08:10
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2020 23:21

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics