Award Date

May 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Criminal Justice

First Committee Member

Margaret Alexis Kennedy

Second Committee Member

Hong Lu

Third Committee Member

William Sousa

Fourth Committee Member

Benjamin Burroughs

Number of Pages



Since the creation of the internet, offenders have been using cyberspace as a means to solicit children and adolescents for sexual content. With children having unrestricted access to the internet at an earlier age than ever before, it is crucial for academics to better understand the digital world in order to protect children online. This study aims to understand the relationship between internet activities, age, and online sexual solicitation largely using an environmental criminology framework, utilizing the Routine Activities Theory by Cohen and Felson (1979) and Target Congruence Theory by Finkelhor and Asdigian (1996). The sample of this study consisted of 515 undergraduate students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas who completed an online survey on their internet use behaviors and experiences with online sexual victimization. Data analysis was done by performing repeated measure ANOVAs, correlations, and regressions to predict online solicitation. Being sexually groomed online is the statistically significant predictor of experiencing online sexual solicitation. This study also found that solicitation is more common amongst adolescents who are older, use their smartphone regularly, and use social media apps.


Childhood victimization; Grooming; Internet usage; Online victimization; Sexual abuse; Solicitation


Criminology | Criminology and Criminal Justice

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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