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How Much Is Too Much? Limit Setting and Sexual Acting Out in a Digital Era

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Please address correspondence to: Beth King, 140 W 97th Street, New York, NY, 10025. E-mail: bethkingphd@gmail.com

Abstract

Digital media offer unique challenges to parents in terms of their efforts to shepherd their children through adolescence. Adolescents’ ready access to the Internet makes limit setting and appropriate supervision of teens much more challenging and offers teens qualitatively different dangers and opportunities for acting out than previously existed. The case of a sexually acting out adopted teen (with a history of sexual abuse) who used the Internet as a central vehicle for sexual exploration is discussed, with a particular focus on the ambiguity of appropriate limit setting in the digital era. Implications for case planning in similar situations are also discussed.

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