Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ)


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Dr. Rebecca Petersen

Second Advisor

Dr. Sutham Cobkit

Third Advisor

Dr. Lewis VanBrackle


The possession and distribution of online child pornography is a growingly pervasive problem and its pessimistic effects and dimensions are far-reaching in today’s society. With the steady increase in these types of offenses, it is pertinent that a better understanding of this heinous crime is addressed through various research endeavors. A research avenue significantly lacking in regard to these types of crimes is the extent to which the utilization of technology is further facilitating these types of crimes. Thus, it is the objective of the present study to specifically address these issues with its relationship to technology. In order to achieve this goal, a secondary data analysis was conducted using data from two prior studies with specific attention to the technological variables used by online sex offenders possessing or distributing child pornography. Conclusions of this study determined that technology does play a contributing role in the possession of increased amounts of child pornography over time. Specifically, hard drives, removable media, peer-to-peer, and encryption were all identified as having statistically significant relationships to either increased image/video amount or increased usage of that particular technology over time. This study concludes with policy implications and future research recommendations based on this study’s findings.