Recent congressional attention has focused on the online risks of youth . Parents, caregivers, and families are often unprepared to handle many of these risks, and parents/caregivers also experience some of these risks themselves. Although not an exhaustive list, risks can include cyberbullying, social comparisons, exposure to sexualized content, gambling addiction, Internet addiction, self-harm, and negative impacts on family and personal relationships . Internal platform policies and design features are not enough to fully address key aspects of risky online behavior and potentially harmful digital habits. Additionally, current public policies and regulations have also proven to be insufficient in alleviating these risks. In this brief, we review our prior research that has focused on understanding potential harms associated with online activities, both for children themselves as well as their families. Our primary concerns are (1) key data are not accessible by the public and thus not enough is known about digital use and the varying adverse impacts on individuals due to their unique contexts, lived experiences, and mental health, and (2) policies that address risky online behavior among children that do not consider the home environment, including the struggles parents experience managing their own online and digital behavior, are not sufficient.
McDaniel, Brandon T. PhD and Pater, Jessica PhD, "Online Risks for Youth and Families" (2023). Health Services and Informatics Research. 129.