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Review article

Traps of the virtual world: the protection of children and young people on the Internet and prevention of addiction

Petra Robotić ; University of Zagreb, Department of Social Work, Faculty of Law

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page 81-96

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The development of the electronic media, their interactivity and greater opportunities to communicate alongside many advantages and interesting ways of learning, presents a very big risk for everyone, mostly children and young people. Children and young people today have much different lifestyles than their parents and they know a lot more about the electronic media which makes the parental role even more complex. The media today, with emphasis on the growing importance and presence of the electronic media in the lives of children and young people, become educators of the new generations, since children today spend more time in the company of different media than at school.

Therefore, the overuse of the media may lead children and young people into social isolation, which is a good basis for the development of addiction.

There is still no official diagnosis for Internet addiction in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth edition (hereinafter referred to as DSM-V) or International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth edition (hereinafter referred to as ICD-10) but previous research indicated that some online users were becoming addicted to the Internet in the same way that others become addicted to drugs or alcohol, and the consequences are manifested in social, work and family life of a person.

Furthermore, there are many dangers on the Internet, and the protection of children and young people requires good cooperation and communication between children, parents, schools, local community and society as a whole, systematically acting at all levels of prevention and protection of children from possible harmful effects of the electronic media.


Internet, Internet addiction, electronic media, protection of children, prevention

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