Adolescent Sexting Involvement Over 4 Years and Associations With Sexual Activity

Hye Jeong Choi, Camille Mori, Joris Van Ouytsel, Sheri Madigan, Jeff R. Temple

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate how demographic factors, dating, and sexual behaviors are related to both initial and changing rates of sexting over time, we examined sexting involvement among ethnically diverse adolescents over a 4-year period. Methods: A total of 1,042 participants from seven public high schools throughout southeast Texas (Dating it Safe study) were asked yearly about sexting involvement, as well as sexual and dating behaviors. Results: Using latent growth curve modeling, results revealed that males and white participants had greater initial involvement in sexting compared with females and Hispanic and other ethnicities, respectively. In addition, we found that sexting significantly increased over the 4-year period. Finally, participants who had sex and who had more dating partners at each wave were significantly more likely to be involved in sexting than their counterparts, even after controlling for their initial sexting involvement. Conclusions: Involvement in sexting increases steadily from adolescence into emerging adulthood. The present study extends prior research by identifying a longitudinal association between sexting and sexual activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)738-744
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Dating
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Sexting
  • Sexual activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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