Date of Conferral
Sextortion is a phenomenon that has made an impact on the digital technology domain. Sexting is a transmission of sensual messages or performances, provocation, and schemes exhibited through an array of sexual behaviors. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to examine the psychological effects experienced of sextortion and to uncover the willingness to seek help and report the incident to authorities. Arnett's emerging adulthood theory provided the framework for this study. The sample consisted of N = 27 responders between 18-24 years of age who have engaged in sexting behaviors and may or may not have experienced sextortion. Simple and multiple regressions were performed using convenience samples to test predictor variables, emotional distress, self-esteem, general help-seeking, reasons for calling the police, disclosure expectations, and self-stigma to seek help and outcome variable, sextortion. Statistically significant correlations existed among variables. Overall, the results displayed insignificant effects of the predictor variables on the outcome variable. The effect of sextortion on the difference in the level of emotional distress revealed no significance, F(1, 25) = 1.96, p = .174. The effect of sextortion on self-esteem exhibited no significance, F(1, 25) = .054, p = .818. The effects of sextortion on general help-seeking, reasons for calling the police, disclosure expectations, and self-stigma to seek help collectively uncovered no significance, F(1, 25) = 3.105, p =.109. The sample size used based on the respective predictor variable, presented challenges to achieve significance at acceptable levels. This study provided a foundation for the implementation of mental health services, prevention programs, and support for those who were found to have experienced sextortion.