Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

Protecting Youths’ Wellbeing Online: Studying the Associations between Opportunities, Risks, and Resilience

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Abstract:  

As youths engage in different activities on the Internet, it is inevitable that they are exposed to risky online contents that might bother or upset them. Previous research has shown that online resilience, or the ability to effectively cope with online risks and to deal with their negative consequences, protects youths against these feelings of harm that sometimes emerge after a risk experience. However, knowledge about the role of resilience in protecting youths’ overall wellbeing seems rather limited. The current study analyzes new EU Kids Online data using structural equation modeling to fill this gap. The findings corroborate earlier findings that the more opportunities youths take up online, the more they are exposed to risky content. These risk encounters are negatively associated with wellbeing. Online resilience moderates this association and protects youths’ overall wellbeing from being harmed by online risk exposure. Implications for further research and practice are discussed.


Keywords:  EU Kids Online; online opportunities; online resilience; online risks; wellbeing; youth

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v8i2.2774


© Joyce Vissenberg, Leen d'Haenens. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.