Representations of Teachers and Elder Schoolchildren about the Risks of Interacting with the Internet



The paper explores the notions of risks on the Internet in teachers and high school students. The study was carried out on a sample of teachers (n = 294) and school students of 9—11 grades (n = 180) using the analysis of social representations (Abric coefficient).The results confirmed that only a small part (5 out of 29) of the teachers’ notions about the riskiness of Internet communication is related to the use of the Internet; mostly they are based on some general ideas concerning risk behaviours in adolescents. At the same time, the teachers were not quite ready to cooperate with their colleagues to help reduce such risks: only 41.5% of the teachers showed readiness, given that they receive appropriate training. The study confirmed that the notions of risks associated with the active use of the Internet differ significantly in teachers and students, which can be explained by at least two reasons. Firstly, by the fact that the active use of the Internet does not affect the subjective well-being of the adolescents. Secondly, by the fact that for high school students, the Internet is a natural tool and a necessary attribute of their daily life, whereas, according to the outcomes of our study, only 20% of the teachers believe that they have the necessary skills to freely use the Internet as a means of their teaching activities. For the rest of the teachers, the Internet is still an object that must be mastered and treated as a source of threats and risks to the psychological development of schoolchildren.

General Information

Keywords: representation, risks, interactions, internet, teachers, high school students

Journal rubric: Educational Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The reported study was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project number 19-29-14067.

Acknowledgements. The authors are grateful to I.N.Oshchepkovа, head of the Severouralsk City Department of Education, for her assistance in data collection.

For citation: Panov V.I., Patrakov E.V. Representations of Teachers and Elder Schoolchildren about the Risks of Interacting with the Internet. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2020. Vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 16–29. DOI: 10.17759/pse.2020250302. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Victor I. Panov, Doctor of Psychology, Member of the RAE, Professor, Chief of the Laboratory of Ecopsychology of Development and Psychodidactics, Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Pedagogical and Social Science, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Eduard V. Patrakov, PhD in Education, Associate Professor, Associate Professor, Department of Innovation and Intellectual Property of the Physical-Technological Institute, Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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