Interventions for children, youth and parents to prevent and reduce cyber abuse

Additional Info

  • Authors: Faye Mishna, Charlene Cook, Robert MacFadden, Michael Saini, Meng-Jia Wu
  • Published date: 2009-06-05
  • Coordinating group(s): Crime and Justice
  • Type of document: Title, Protocol, Review, User abstract, Plain language summary
  • Volume: 5
  • Issue nr: 2
  • Category Image: Category Image
  • PLS Title: Cyber abuse interventions increase knowledge on internet safety but do not decrease risky online behaviour
  • PLS Description: While there are many benefits from the internet, it is a potential site for abuse and victimisation. The prevalence of cyber abuse u2013 that is activities such as cyber bullying, cyber stalking, cyber sexual solicitation, and cyber pornography u2013 is a growing problem. This review examines the effectiveness of cyber abuse interventions in increasing knowledge about internet safety and decreasing risky online behaviour.
  • Title: Interventions for children, youth and parents to prevent and reduce cyber abuse
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Objectives
To examine the effectiveness of cyber abuse interventions in increasing Internet safety knowledge and decreasing risky online behaviour. The scope of this review is experimental and quasi-experimental prevention and intervention strategies that target children ages 5 to 19 years old and/or their parents, utilize a control group, and examine an outcome related to cyber abuse such as Internet safety knowledge, risky online behaviour, or exposure to inappropriate online content.

Selection criteria
The scope of this review is experimental and quasi-experimental prevention and intervention strategies that target children ages 5 to 19 years old and/or their parents, utilize a control group, and examine an outcome related to cyber abuse such as Internet safety knowledge, risky online behaviour, or exposure to inappropriate online content.

Search strategy
We searched the following databases : Psychological Abstracts (PsycINFO, PsycLIT, ClinPsyc-clinical subset) ; MEDLINE; EMBASE; Database of reviews of effectiveness (DARE online); ChildData (child health and welfare); ASSIA (applied social sciences); Caredata (social work); Social Work Abstracts; Child Abuse, Child Welfare & Adoption; Cochrane Collaboration ; C2-SPECTR; Social Sciences Abstracts; Social Service Abstracts; Dissertation Abstracts International (DAI). We also handsearched Youth and Society; Journal of Interpersonal Violence; Annual Review of Sex; Computers in Human Behavior; Computers & Education; and Journal of Adolescent Health. Additionally, we contacted experts in the field and searched for grey literature.

Data collection and analysis
Two screeners reviewed abstracts and full-text of all articles. Three articles met all inclusion criteria, and effect sizes and z-tests were calculated for all relevant outcomes.

Main results
Significant z-tests were found between pre- and post-test scores on measures related to Internet safety knowledge such as managing online risk and identifying online predators. Most tests related to pre and post measures of risky online behaviour were not significant, including disclosing one’s name, participating in open chat rooms, or emailing strangers.

Reviewers' conclusions
Results provide evidence that participation in psychoeducational Internet safety interventions is associated with an increase in Internet safety knowledge but is not significantly associated with a change in risky online behaviour. The need for further research in this field is highlighted.

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