Psychosocial skills as a protective factor and other teacher recommendations for online harms prevention in schools: a qualitative analysis

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. Psychosocial skills as a protective factor and other teacher recommendations for online harms prevention in schools: a qualitative analysis. Frontiers in Education, 6: 648512. ISSN 2504-284X

1440685_Griffiths.pdf - Published version

Download (775kB) | Preview


Rising prevalence of mental disorders among children and adolescents in the United Kingdom has arguably been associated with increased levels of problematic smartphone use and social media use, rendering the need for health promotion at a school level. However, evidence on how teachers may best support media literacy and emotional wellbeing is lacking. The present study explored perceptions of adolescent online engagement and recommendations of how schools could prevent the experience of online harms during adolescence through qualitative interviews with teachers (N 9, M age 39.2 years, SD 7.74). Results were analysed using thematic analysis and provided the following themes in terms of recommendations for online harms: i) schools in transition and redefining expectations, ii) a modular approach to media and emotional literacy, iii) media and emotional literacy teacher training, and iv) encourage dialogue and foster psychosocial skills. Psychosocial skills were further analysed as critical components of perceived online harm prevention into the following categories: i) self-control and emotion regulation skills, ii) digital resilience and assertiveness skills, iii) social and emotional intelligence and metacognitive skills to encourage balanced use and emotional health. Findings corroborated the need for an increasing health promotion role of teachers and school counsellors and in the contribution of students' cognitive and emotional development through skill acquisition. Implications are discussed for the role of educational settings in prevention of online harms, while preserving the significant benefits of digital media for education and social connection, and for the prompt identification and referral of problematic users to adolescent mental health services.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Frontiers in Education
Creators: Throuvala, M.A., Griffiths, M.D., Rennoldson, M. and Kuss, D.J.
Publisher: Frontiers Media
Date: 21 May 2021
Volume: 6
ISSN: 2504-284X
Rights: Copyright © 2021 Throuvala, Griffiths, Rennoldson and Kuss. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CCBY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 27 May 2021 13:40
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:02

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year