16 Apr 2021
International journal of environmental research and public health;
Many programs exist to prevent bullying and cyberbullying. Nevertheless, despite evidence of the numerous overlapping risks of the Internet, programs that jointly and adequately address large sets of risks are not presently described in the scientific literature. This study's main objective was to assess the effectiveness of the Safety.net program in a pilot sample. This program prevents eight Internet risks: cyberbullying, sexting, online grooming, cyber dating abuse, problematic Internet use, nomophobia, Internet gaming disorder, and online gambling disorder. The Safety.net program comprises 16 sessions and 4 modules (digital skills, relational risks, dysfunctional risks, and change of attitudes and cognitions). Each session lasts one hour, but the program has a networked instructional design to recall previous content in later sessions. For its assessment, a pre/post-test repeated measures design with a control group and an intervention group was used. The study sample was 165 adolescents between 11 and 14 years old (M = 12.11, SD = 0.89). The intervention group demonstrated improvements compared to the control group concerning online grooming, problematic Internet use, Internet gaming disorder, and nomophobia. These results suggest that the Safety.net program is effective in preventing the increase of most of the assessed risks and that it reduces some of them with a small number of sessions.