Online Safety among Children and Adolescents: Aiming towards More Tailored Delivery and Support

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760). This special issue belongs to the section "Childhood and Youth Studies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2025 | Viewed by 223

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, School of Law, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 1LQ, UK
Interests: online risks and harms; online safety education; problematic internet use; cyberbullying and victimisation; mental health; digital resilience; online safety laws and policies; vulnerable children

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Online safety education faces a significant challenge in keeping up with the diverse and ever-evolving online risks and potential harms, while also acknowledging the benefits of online experiences for children and adolescents. Moving away from “rule-based” and “one-size-fits-all” approaches is essential. Individual differences, psychological, social and educational factors may play significant parts in improving current practices, while the style of delivery and offline factors may influence the effectiveness of the message. This Special Issue is particularly focused on exploring the following topics:

  1. New Understandings of Online Risks and Harms: Exploring current emerging online risks and potential harms, particularly through the mediums of social media, online gaming, online content and artificial intelligence (AI).
  2. Old Versus New Approaches to Online Safety Education: Evaluate the effectiveness of traditional “rule-based” approaches versus newer, more dynamic educational methods. This could include assessing the impact of gamified learning, peer-to-peer education or personalized content delivery on online safety outcomes.
  3. Role of Social Isolation, Emotional Distress, or Psychological Factors: Investigate how psychological and emotional factors, such as loneliness, anxiety, depression or self-esteem, influence online safety behaviours and decision-making among children and adolescents, and how such factors can be addressed in online safety education.
  4. Parental Practices in Promoting Safer Internet Use: Examine the role of parents in facilitating online safety for their children. Research might focus on effective communication strategies, parental control tools and the influence of parental attitudes and behaviours on children's online safety practices.
  5. Individual Differences in Online Safety Practices: Investigate how online safety practices differ among various groups, including those with special educational needs, physical disabilities, or other disadvantages and vulnerabilities. It is interesting to see how individual differences can be accounted for in online safety education and support.
  6. Children’s Services and Practitioners’ Understanding of Online Risks/Harms: Explore the knowledge and practices of professionals or practitioners such as social workers, counsellors/therapists and medical personnel regarding online risks and harms. Assess and explore how these practitioners can support children and adolescents in navigating the online world safely while facilitating better psychosocial well-being.
  7. Improving Resilience and Help-Seeking Behaviour: Investigate strategies to enhance resilience and help-seeking behaviour among children and adolescents who encounter online risks or harms. Research might focus on school-based programs, online resources, and communication channels for seeking help, both within educational institutions and at home.

Each of these topics offers an opportunity to contribute to a more nuanced and tailored approach to online safety education that considers the evolving digital landscape, psychosocial wellbeing, individual differences and the role of various stakeholders, including parents and professionals. Aligned with the topics above, this Special Issue welcomes quantitative and qualitative research articles, review articles, case studies or short communications.

Dr. Aiman El Asam
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • online risks and harms
  • online safety education
  • problematic internet use
  • cyberbullying and victimisation
  • mental health
  • digital resilience
  • online safety laws and policies
  • vulnerable children

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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