A qualitative exploration of the online safety needs of secondary school children

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Introduction: Internet use of young people has risen dramatically over the past 10 years with increasing ease of access via various digital devices to younger age groups. The internet has many positive benefits for young people such as access to educational resources, health advice, and leisure interests available online. However, issues including cyberbullying, sexting, viewing of inappropriate content, grooming and hacking have all raised concerns about online safety of young people. This project aimed to understand the current online activities and experiences of young people of secondary school age 11-16 in relation to online risks and resilience, as well as their understanding of online safety practices.
Method: Twenty-six students (males =14, female=16) from years 7 to 11 (ages 11-16) participated in four focus groups. NVivo 10 qualitative data analysis computer software was used to assist the organisation and analysis of the data into themes.
Results: This is explored using a qualitative method of enquiry. Five codebooks were identified from the analysis of the data. They combine a wide range of issues and include E-safety education, Risk taking behaviour, Generation Gap, Help-seeking, Online experiences.
Conclusion: Young people are keen to know how to stay safe online and who is appropriate to contact if they have concerns, and voice a general need for more consistent education and support appropriate to their needs. Implications for future practice in education settings are discussed regarding the findings that in the UK this issue has gained priority on the policy agenda.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2017
Event22nd CyberPsychology, CyberTherapy & Social Networking Conference - University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Jun 201728 Jun 2017


Conference22nd CyberPsychology, CyberTherapy & Social Networking Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • online safety
  • cyberbullying
  • support
  • young people


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