Commentary: Cause for alarm? Youth and internet risk research – a commentary on Livingstone and Smith (2014)


This commentary on Livingstone and Smith (Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 55, 2014, XXX) suggests that more attention should be paid to a set of hypotheses about technology that contrasts with those that have animated much of the current research interest: (a) That the digital environment is no more perilous and perhaps less perilous than other offline environments youth inhabit; (b) That the problems the digital technology poses are not unique, but rather extensions of social interaction or media consumption problems that cut across many environments and are best conceptualized holistically rather than as special; and (c) That the appropriate responses should not be specialized Internet safety training but more generic education about life skills, social interaction, emotional intelligence, and media literacy. The commentary also argues for more research that reflects and tries to illuminate the basis for the excitement and enthusiasm that the young have for the technology.


Crimes Against Children Research Center, Sociology

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Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry



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© 2014 The Author. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. © 2014 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health