Monday, September 21, 2009
Preteens and online Internet risk behaviors
Risks in the middle school years have moved beyond sneaking cigarettes. As part of a research team funded by the Department of Justice, Dr. Elizabeth Dowdell, associate professor of Nursing at Villanova, studies risky Internet behaviors of middle schoolers. In her study of 404 students, 59 had communication with a stranger, some with online conversations, gifts or meetings. Dr. Dowdell says prevention efforts should include programs in the curriculum that teach refusal skills in online situations. Parents should keep computers in a public space at home and discuss with children the dangers of posting online personal data.