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Survey of Internet Mental Health Issues

Background

The Internet is a growing factor in the lives of young people, and as it occupies more time and energy in their lives, it is likely becoming a growing factor in the distress and well-being of this population.Mental health and victim service professionals, such as victim advocates, crisis intervention specialists, counselors, clinicians, and social workers have an important and unique view of the lives and experiences of youth and adults.Their perspectives and insights into these populations may reveal occurrences and aspects of problematic Internet experiences, such as the nature of its impact and the reactions of individuals, which may not be revealed from other perspectives.In order to develop a more complete understanding about problematic Internet experiences and its impact, it is valuable to assess the experiences and needs of mental health and victim service professionals so they can effectively recognize and treat these experiences.

Goals and Objectives     

  1. To identify characteristics of problematic Internet experiences coming to the attention of mental health and victim service professionals including victim advocates, crisis intervention specialists, counselors, clinicians, and social workers;
  2. To identify the types of professionals working with problematic Internet experiences;
  3. To assess the needs of professionals regarding the recognition and treatment of problematic Internet experiences;
  4. To provide data about the impact of problematic Internet experiences; and
  5. To formulate recommendations and guidelines from these findings and disseminate them to practitioners and policy makers

Methodology

This study will use mail surveys to gather quantitative and qualitative data from mental health and victim service professionals about their needs and experiences with problematic Internet experiences.An initial postcard will be sent to professionals who belong to a variety of different professional organizations to determine whether they have worked with clients with problematic Internet experiences.Professionals who have dealt with this topic will then be sent a detailed survey about these youth, along with questions about their own needs associated with Internet victimization cases.In order to more completely measure professionalsí own Internet use and needs associated with problematic Internet experiences, a sub-sample of professionals who have not dealt with these types of cases will be sent a shorter survey asking about their own use, experiences and needs.The detailed survey may be completed by regular mail or through a secure website. 

 

For more information, contact:

Kimberly Mitchell, Ph.D.
Family Research Lab
University of New Hampshire
7 Leavitt Lane
Durham, NH 03824-3586
Ph: (603)862-4533
Fax: (603)862-1122
E-mail: Kimberly.Mitchell@unh.edu

Phone: 603-862-1888
Crimes Against Children Research Center
University of New Hampshire 126 Horton Social Science Center
Durham, NH 03824
Fax: 603-862-1122