This paper discusses a study that aimed to develop a theoretical framework on adolescents’ risk-taking behaviours while using the internet. Families play an important role in adolescents’ upbringing. Therefore, the study’s theoretical formulation focused on families’ role in adolescents’ risk-taking behaviours during internet use. An anonymous survey was conducted that resulted in 501 valid responses. Adolescents’ risk-taking behaviours were classified into three categories, namely Dangerous interactions with people; Accessing dangerous websites and Other Risk-taking behaviours. The results revealed that respondents engaged in many risk-taking behaviours. Information was also collected related to the role played by parents/carers. Results revealed that families who had engaged in conversation with their teenage members regarding safe internet use managed to minimise the risks teenagers took while using the internet. Using the social learning theory and social control theory, the study argues that families need to include safe internet use as a socialisation process in a similar way to other socialisation processes such as the guidance and constant checks and balances used to help teenagers take up challenges in the real world.
|Keywords:||Internet Use, Risk-taking Behaviours, Adolescents, Parental Guidance|
Senior Lecturer, Department of Social Work and Social Planning, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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