Ways to avoid problematic situations and negative experiences: Children’s preventive measures online


This article maps the various preventive measures 9 to 16-year-olds may take when confronted with problematic online situations, and it assesses how they differentiate preventive strategies based on online risk types. Boys and girls are compared and potential changes in preventive measures as they grow older are discussed. The reality of preventive measures is complex: Young people adopt different types of preventive measures depending on the perceived seriousness and potential harm of the risky situation at hand. Proactive problem-preventing measures are favored while support seeking is clearly a less common strategy in preventing unpleasant situations online. Cognitive strategies such as planning, strategizing and reflecting are also quite common among children’s intent on avoiding risky online experiences, and they can spur them on from mere awareness to concrete preventive action.

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The European Journal of Communication Research is an established forum for scholarship and academic debate in the field of communication science and research from a European perspective. Communications highlights the concerns of communication science through the publication of articles, research reports, review essays and book reviews on theoretical and methodological developments considered from a European perspective.