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Educating teens about the risks on social network sites: an intervention study in secondary education

Ellen Vanderhoven (UGent) , Tammy Schellens (UGent) and Martin Valcke (UGent)
(2014) COMUNICAR. 43. p.123-131
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  • SPION
Abstract
The growing popularity of social network sites (SNS) is causing concerns about privacy and securi-ty, especially with regard to 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 young-sters how to use SNS safely. However, existing educational materials are not theoretically ground-ed, do not tackle all the specific risks that teenagers 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 diffi-cult to achieve. Therefore, new educational packages have been 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 teen-agers 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. Implica-tions are discussed.
Keywords
adolescence, secondary edu-cation, risk behavior, intervention, media literacy, media education, Social networks, WORDS, FACEBOOK, ADOLESCENTS, BEHAVIORS

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MLA
Vanderhoven, Ellen, Tammy Schellens, and Martin Valcke. “Educating Teens About the Risks on Social Network Sites: An Intervention Study in Secondary Education.” COMUNICAR 43 (2014): 123–131. Print.
APA
Vanderhoven, E., Schellens, T., & Valcke, M. (2014). Educating teens about the risks on social network sites: an intervention study in secondary education. COMUNICAR, 43, 123–131.
Chicago author-date
Vanderhoven, Ellen, Tammy Schellens, and Martin Valcke. 2014. “Educating Teens About the Risks on Social Network Sites: An Intervention Study in Secondary Education.” Comunicar 43: 123–131.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Vanderhoven, Ellen, Tammy Schellens, and Martin Valcke. 2014. “Educating Teens About the Risks on Social Network Sites: An Intervention Study in Secondary Education.” Comunicar 43: 123–131.
Vancouver
1.
Vanderhoven E, Schellens T, Valcke M. Educating teens about the risks on social network sites: an intervention study in secondary education. COMUNICAR. 2014;43:123–31.
IEEE
[1]
E. Vanderhoven, T. Schellens, and M. Valcke, “Educating teens about the risks on social network sites: an intervention study in secondary education,” COMUNICAR, vol. 43, pp. 123–131, 2014.
@article{4378736,
  abstract     = {The growing popularity of social network sites (SNS) is causing concerns about privacy and securi-ty, especially with regard to 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 young-sters how to use SNS safely. However, existing educational materials are not theoretically ground-ed, do not tackle all the specific risks that teenagers 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 diffi-cult to achieve. Therefore, new educational packages have been 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 teen-agers 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. Implica-tions are discussed.},
  author       = {Vanderhoven, Ellen and Schellens, Tammy and Valcke, Martin},
  issn         = {1134-3478},
  journal      = {COMUNICAR},
  keywords     = {adolescence,secondary edu-cation,risk behavior,intervention,media literacy,media education,Social networks,WORDS,FACEBOOK,ADOLESCENTS,BEHAVIORS},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {123--131},
  title        = {Educating teens about the risks on social network sites: an intervention study in secondary education},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3916/C43-2014-12},
  volume       = {43},
  year         = {2014},
}

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