Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Ahead of print


Raising awareness on cyber safety: adolescents’ experience of a primary healthcare professional-led, school-based, multi-center intervention

Zoi Tsimtsiou
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Hygiene, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Medicine, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece, Phone: 00306977062
  • Urban Health Center of Evosmos, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Evangelos Drosos / Anastasios Drontsos / Anna-Bettina Haidich
  • Department of Hygiene, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Fotini Dantsi / Zafiria Sekeri / Theodoros Dardavesis
  • Department of Hygiene, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Panagiotis Nanos / Malamatenia Arvanitidou
  • Department of Hygiene, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-09-15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0072



Although safe Internet use is an emerging public health issue, there is a scarcity of published work describing relevant school-based interventions. The objective of this study was to explore the impact of a health professional-led, school-based intervention in raising awareness on cyber-safety in adolescents, Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate adolescents’ evaluation of this school-based intervention, 6 months after its implementation, as well as the impact of adolescents’ school class and gender on their evaluation.


A student sample was selected using a multistage stratified random sampling technique, according to the location and school grade level (middle, high school). The students – aged from 12 to 18 years old experienced an interactive presentation in their classrooms on the amount of time spent online, the use of social networks and the available support services. An evaluation tool was completed anonymously and voluntarily 6 months after the intervention.


Four hundred and sixty-two students (response rate 90.7%, 246 middle, 216 high school) completed the evaluation tool. Younger students, especially the ones in the first year of middle school, scored significantly higher in all six parameters used in the evaluation of this intervention compared with all the older participants: (a) they had kept the presented information on Safeline and Saferinternet websites and the helpline Ypostirizo (70.2% vs. 33.7%, p < 0.001) (b) they had already used it (32.5% vs. 12.3%, p < 0.001), (c) they had learned new information on cyber safety (66.4% vs. 34%, p < 0.001), (d) they rated the intervention as more interesting (median 8 vs. 7, p < 0.05), (e) they had reconsidered the way they use Internet (median 7 vs. 6, p < 0.05) and (f) they had changed their cyber behavior (median 7 vs. 5, p < 0.05).


The active involvement of students in a discussion on cyber-safety based on their experiences was highly evaluated. The impact of the intervention on the youngest students underlines the need for raising awareness on cyber-safety and support services, earlier in the students’ life.

Keywords: adolescents; cyber safety; evaluation; intervention; school-based


  • [1]

    Durkee T, Kaess M, Carli V, Parzer P, Wasserman C, Floderus B, et al. Prevalence of pathological internet use among adolescents in Europe: demographic and social factors. Addiction. 2012;107(12):2210–22.PubMedWeb of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [2]

    Modecki KL, Minchin J, Harbaugh AG, Guerra NG, Runions KC. Bullying prevalence acrosscontexts: a meta-analysis measuring cyber and traditional bullying. J Adolesc Health. 2014;55(5):602–11.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [3]

    Smith PK, Thompson F, Davidson J. Cyber safety for adolescent girls: bullying, harassment, sexting, pornography, and solicitation. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2014;26(5):360–5.PubMedWeb of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [4]

    Barry MM, Clarke AM, Jenkins R, Patel V. A systematic review of the middle effectiveness of mental health promotion interventions for young people in low and income countries. BMC Public Health. 2013;13:835.CrossrefPubMedWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • [5]

    Dobbins M, Husson H, DeCorby K, LaRocca RL. School-based physical activity programs for promoting physical activity and fitness in children and adolescents aged 6 to 18. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;28(2):CD007651.Google Scholar

  • [6]

    [6] Espada JP, Morales A, Orgilés M, Jemmott JB, Jemmott LS. Short-term evaluation of a skill-development education program for Spanish adolescents compared with a well-established program. J Adolesc Health. 2015;56(1):30–7.CrossrefWeb of SciencePubMedGoogle Scholar

  • [7]

    Bay JL, Mora HA, Sloboda DM, Morton SM, Vickers MH, Gluckman PD. Adolescent understanding of DOHaD concepts: a school-based intervention to support knowledge translation and behaviour change. J Dev Orig Health Dis. 2012;3(6):469–82.Web of ScienceCrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • [8]

    [8] Busch V, De Leeuw RJ, Schrijvers AJ. Results of a multibehavioral health-promoting school pilot intervention in a Dutch secondary school. J Adolesc Health. 2013;52:400–6.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • [9]

    Chang LC, Guo JL, Liao LL, Peng HY, Hsieh PL. A coalition partnership of vision health through a health-promoting school program for primary school students in Taiwan. Glob Health Promot. 2015;85(7):487–95.Google Scholar

  • [10]

    Walther B, Hanewinkel R, Morgenstern M. Effects of a brief school-based media literacy intervention on digital media use in adolescents: cluster randomized controlled trial. Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2014;17(9):616–23.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [11]

    Williford A, Elledge LC, Boulton AJ, DePaolis KJ, Little TD, Salmivalli C. Effects of the KiVa antibullying program on cyberbullying and cybervictimization frequency among finnish youth. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2013;42(6):820–33.PubMedWeb of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [12]

    [12] Schultze-Krumbholz A, Schultze M, Zagorscak P, Wölfer R, Scheithauer H. Feeling cybervictims’ pain – The effect of empathy training on cyberbullying. Aggress Behav. 2016;42(2):147–56.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [13]

    Palladino BE, Nocentini A, Menesini E. Evidence-based intervention against bullying and cyberbullying: Evaluation of the NoTrap! program in two independent trials. Aggress Behav. 2016;42(2):194–206.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [14]

    Roberto AJ, Eden J, Savage MW, Ramos-Salazar L, Deiss DM. Outcome evaluation results of school-based cybersafety promotion and cyberbullying prevention intervention for middle school students. Health Commun. 2014;29(10):1029–42.PubMedCrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • [15]

    Downey AM, Cresanta JL, Berenson GS. Cardiovascular health promotion in children: “Heart Smart” and the changing role of physicians. Am J Prev Med. 1989;5(5):279–95.PubMedGoogle Scholar

  • [16]

    Tsimtsiou Z, Haidich AB, Drontsos A, Dantsi F, Sekeri Z, Drosos E, et al. Pathological Internet use, cyberbullying and mobile phone use in adolescence: a cross-sectional, multi-centre, school-based study in Greece. Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2017; DOI: 10.1515/ijamh-2016-0115.Google Scholar

  • [17]

    Young KS. Caught in the Net. New York, NY: Jonh Wiley & Sons; 1998.Google Scholar

  • [18]

    Tsimtsiou Z, Haidich AB, Kokkali S, Dardavesis T, Young KS, Arvanitidou M. Greek version of the Internet addiction test: a validation study. Psychiatr Q. 2014;85(2):187–95.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • [19]

    Gradinger P, Yanagida T, Strohmeier D, Spiel C. Effectiveness and sustainability of the ViSC social competence program to prevent cyberbullying and cyber-victimization: class and individual level moderators. Aggress Behav. 2016;42(2):181–93.CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • [20]

    Terzidis A, Koutroumpa A, Skalkidis I, Matzavakis I, Malliori M, Frangakis CE, et al. Water safety: age-specific changesin knowledge and attitudes following a school-based intervention. Inj Prev. 2007;13(2):120–4.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [21]

    Tsitsika A, Janikian M, Schoenmakers TM, Tzavela EC, Olafsson K, Wójcik S, et al. Internet addictive behavior in adolescence: a cross-sectional study in seven European countries. Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2014;17(8):528–35.CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

About the article

Received: 2017-04-29

Accepted: 2017-08-02

Published Online: 2017-09-15

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20170072, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0072.

Export Citation

©2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in