Young People Who Sext: The Role of Self-Esteem and Body-Esteem

Kristina Sesar, Arta Dodaj, Toni Jandrić


Objective − The aim of this research was to examine the relationship between sexting, self-esteem and body-esteem.

Subjects and Methods − A total of 707 subjects participated in this study of which 138 were male and 551 female students from Bosnia and Herzegovina (N=395), and the Republic of Croatia (N=294). They completed a modified version of the Sexting Behaviours Scale, the State Self-Esteem Scale and the Body-Esteem Scale for Adolescents and Adults.

Results – The results show that young men engage in sexting behaviour more often than girls, and that the exchange of sexually explicit content is most frequent between intimate partners. Persons who engage in sexting behaviour achieved lower results on the Self-Esteem Scale and higher results on the sub-scale of Body-Esteem Attribution. The results of binary logistic regression analysis show that sex is a significant pre­dictor of receiving and/or forwarding semi-nude and/or nude photographs and video recordings. The relationship status was a significant predictor of receiving semi-nude and/or nude photographs and sending semi-nude and/or nude photographs and video recordings. Self-esteem was shown to be a significant predictor of sending semi-nude or nude photographs, whilst body-esteem attribution was shown to be a significant predictor of all forms of sexting behaviour.

Conclusion − The obtained results indicate that preventive intervention aimed at strengthening a positive self-image could reduce the frequency of sexting amongst students.




Sexting; Self-Esteem; Body-Esteem; Students; Young People

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