Digital Youth pp 201-213 | Cite as

Promoting Positive and Safe Digital Worlds: What Parents and Teachers Can Do to Empower Youth

  • Kaveri Subrahmanyam
  • David Šmahel
Part of the Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development book series (ARAD)


In the foregoing chapters, we have shown that digital worlds offer youth opportunities for interaction and access to vast amounts of information and resources, but they also have their unsavory aspects, such as pornography, violent, and other inappropriate content that can be readily accessed, as well as potential for victimization at the hands of peers and adults. Understandably parents, practitioners, and policy makers are confused and uncertain as to how to respond to young people’s online forays. Our recommendation is to focus our efforts on protecting and empowering youth so they can use technology positively and safely, and in ways that will promote their well being. This chapter describes what we can do to ensure that youth have positive and safe experiences in digital worlds by safeguarding them from inappropriate and harmful online content (e.g., pornography and violence) and victimization by peers (e.g., cyber bullying) and adult predators (sexual solicitation). Doing so will require the concerted and proactive actions of government, industry, parents, and schools. For each stakeholder, we first present strategies to protect youth from inappropriate content and then present those that they can use to protect them from victimization. Although most of the information is in the context of the USA, where available, we provide information from other countries and contexts as well.


Internet Service Provider Authoritative Parent Child Pornography Digital World Online Content 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCalifornia State UniversityLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of Social StudiesMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic

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