Educating Teens about the Risks on Social Network Sites. An intervention study in Secondary Education = Enseñar a los adolescentes los riesgos de las redes sociales: Una propuesta de intervención en Secundaria

Vanderhoven, Ellen and Schellens, Tammy and Valcke, Martin Educating Teens about the Risks on Social Network Sites. An intervention study in Secondary Education = Enseñar a los adolescentes los riesgos de las redes sociales: Una propuesta de intervención en Secundaria. Comunicar, 2014, vol. 22, n. 43, pp. 123-132. [Journal article (Paginated)]

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English abstract

The growing popularity of social network sites (SNS) is causing concerns about privacy and security, especially with teenagers since they show various forms of unsafe behavior on SNS. Media literacy emerges as a priority, and researchers, teachers, parents and teenagers all point towards the responsibility of the school to educate teens about risks on SNS and to teach youngsters how to use SNS safely. However, existing educational materials are not theoretically grounded, do not tackle all the specific risks that teens might encounter on SNS and lack rigorous outcome evaluations. Additionally, general media education research indicates that although changes in knowledge are often obtained, changes in attitudes and behavior are much more difficult to achieve. Therefore, new educational packages were developed –taking into account instructional guidelines- and a quasi-experimental intervention study was set up to find out whether these materials are effective in changing the awareness, attitudes or the behavior of teenagers on SNS. It was found that all three courses obtained their goal in raising the awareness about the risks tackled in this course. However, no impact was found on attitudes towards the risks, and only a limited impact was found on teenagers’ behavior concerning these risks. Implications are discussed.

Spanish abstract

La creciente popularidad de las redes sociales (RS) está causando preocupación por la privacidad y la seguridad de los usuarios, particularmente de los adolescentes que muestran diversas formas de conductas de riesgo en las redes sociales. En este contexto, la alfabetización mediática emerge como una prioridad e investigadores, profesores, padres y adolescentes enfatizan la responsabilidad de la escuela de enseñar a los adolescentes acerca de los riesgos en RS y cómo utilizarlas sin peligro. Sin embargo, los materiales educativos existentes no están teóricamente fundamentados, no abordan todos los riesgos específicos que los adolescentes pueden encontrar en las redes y carecen de evaluaciones de resultados. Además, estudios acerca de la educación mediática indican que, mientras los cambios a nivel de conocimientos suelen obtenerse fácilmente cambios en las actitudes y el comportamiento son mucho más difíciles de lograr. Por este motivo, nuevos paquetes educativos han sido desarrollados teniendo en cuenta directrices educativas. Posteriormente se llevó a cabo un estudio de intervención cuasi-experimental a fin de verificar si estos materiales son eficaces para cambiar el conocimiento, las actitudes y el comportamiento de los adolescentes en las redes sociales. El estudio constató que los cursos obtienen su objetivo en la sensibilización de los riesgos tratados. Sin embargo, no se observó ningún impacto en las actitudes hacia el riesgo, y el impacto en el comportamiento de los adolescentes en relación con estos riesgos fue limitado. Las implicaciones de este estudio son discutidas.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: Social networks, media education, media literacy, intervention, risk behavior, secondary education, adolescence
Subjects: C. Users, literacy and reading.
Depositing user: Alex Ruiz
Date deposited: 23 Jul 2014 11:43
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:32


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