Policy recommendations for preventing problematic internet use in schools: a qualitative study of parental perspectives

Throuvala, M.A. ORCID: 0000-0003-4617-5263, Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, Rennoldson, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-7131-8740 and Kuss, D.J. ORCID: 0000-0001-8917-782X, 2021. Policy recommendations for preventing problematic internet use in schools: a qualitative study of parental perspectives. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (9): 4522. ISSN 1661-7827

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Parenting in the digital age has been characterized as one of the most challenging tasks of the modern era. Parents are ambivalent about their mediating role. However, problematic aspects of adolescent online use have not been adequately addressed in education. The present study investigated parental perceptions of intervention needs within schools to prevent excessive/problematic use, enhance parent–child communication, and reduce family conflicts. Nine interviews with parents of adolescents residing in the UK were carried out and analyzed utilizing thematic analysis. Three main themes emerged as parental proposals: (i) schools as digital education providers and prevention hubs, (ii) provision of mental health literacy to raise awareness, resolve ambiguity regarding impacts and mitigate excessive use and impacts, and (iii) psychoeducation and upskilling. The third theme related to impacts from time spent on screens (time displacement), content-related impacts, and context-related impacts. The present study offers recommendations for media literacy during adolescence beyond e-safety (i.e., addressing interpersonal communication problems, privacy vs. disclosure issues), based on parents’ views, and provides new insights for media and emotional health literacy collaboration efforts. Future work should investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of such interventions to support the emotional health of young people and prevent problematic internet use escalation.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Creators: Throuvala, M.A., Griffiths, M.D., Rennoldson, M. and Kuss, D.J.
Publisher: MDPI
Date: 24 April 2021
Volume: 18
Number: 9
ISSN: 1661-7827
Rights: © 2021 by the authors. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/).
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jeremy Silvester
Date Added: 29 Apr 2021 14:39
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:03
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/42783

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