This article explores the ways in which young people experience the Internet as a potentially criminogenic medium. To date, little research has explored the possible links between the mundane, ubiquitous use of digital communication technologies by young people and involvement in delinquency in online contexts. The current empirical study seeks to address this gap, by investigating how a young person's digital pursuits (i.e. relative access, technical competencies, and exposure to pertinent technologies, Internet sites and services), as well as various developmental considerations, are linked to delinquent online encounters - be they tentative engagements of a naïve or non-criminal kind or deliberate, more serious forms of technologically-mediated criminality. Drawing on data collected from a cohort of adolescents enrolled at a secondary school in a large Australian city, the results establish significant relationships between many of these concepts, but also flag that online delinquent encounters amongst young adolescents are unlikely to correspond with serious criminal involvements, with such activities being episodic and for the most part trifling. The results further highlight the need for a better understanding of the role of digital communication technologies on pathways into cybercrime.
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