Research Topic

Risks of “Cyber-relationships” in Adolescents and Young People

About this Research Topic

In the last decades, new technologies have contributed to profound changes in the ways of establishing and developing relationships with others, especially among younger people. Thus, for example, how young people conceive friendship, love, and leisure, and their underlying dynamics have nothing to do with what they used to twenty years ago. Technological advances (social networks, smartphones, video games, and widespread use of the Internet) have introduced the possibility of being permanently surfing in virtual scenarios, and/or connected in real-time with other people, which in part facilitates the maintenance of relationships and makes it possible to increase the number of contacts and interactions.

Although some of the benefits derived from this new reality are undisputed, risks associated with it have also arisen. On the one hand, the frequent and inadequate use of digital media contributes to the exposure of younger people to dangers such as access to inappropriate content, loss of anonymity due to excessive sharing of private information and photos, being the object of new types of addictions and phobias, and vulnerability to people with possible malicious intentions (such as cyberbullies, sexual predators, etc.). In the specific field of relationships, new technologies have become the perfect breeding ground for the emergence of new forms of aggression, both through permanent control of the couple and through humiliation, intrusion, harassment, or public exposure. On the other hand, cultural changes have in turn led to changes in value systems, ideals, and ways of conceiving and experiencing reality as individuals. In this sense, it has been observed that rates of violence in its different forms are increasing among young people (and not only among those who are more vulnerable, or who present psychological disorders), who tend to normalize it in all contexts, including the context of couples.
This new scenario represents an important challenge for Psychology. Thus, it is necessary to analyze these new realities in-depth, to draw conclusions that will allow us to guide prevention and intervention policies in the near future.

This Research Topic will focus on psychological research that explores and measure these new forms of “cyber-relationships” and their risks among adolescents and young people. Studies that design and implement intervention programs to prevent or mitigate these risks are also welcome. Original Research, Systematic Review, and Methods studies are welcome. Topics may include, but are not limited to:
• cyberbullying,
• cyberdating,
• sexting,
• problematic Internet use,
• Internet Gaming Disorder-IGD


Keywords: Adolescence, youth, social media, Internet, relationship


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

In the last decades, new technologies have contributed to profound changes in the ways of establishing and developing relationships with others, especially among younger people. Thus, for example, how young people conceive friendship, love, and leisure, and their underlying dynamics have nothing to do with what they used to twenty years ago. Technological advances (social networks, smartphones, video games, and widespread use of the Internet) have introduced the possibility of being permanently surfing in virtual scenarios, and/or connected in real-time with other people, which in part facilitates the maintenance of relationships and makes it possible to increase the number of contacts and interactions.

Although some of the benefits derived from this new reality are undisputed, risks associated with it have also arisen. On the one hand, the frequent and inadequate use of digital media contributes to the exposure of younger people to dangers such as access to inappropriate content, loss of anonymity due to excessive sharing of private information and photos, being the object of new types of addictions and phobias, and vulnerability to people with possible malicious intentions (such as cyberbullies, sexual predators, etc.). In the specific field of relationships, new technologies have become the perfect breeding ground for the emergence of new forms of aggression, both through permanent control of the couple and through humiliation, intrusion, harassment, or public exposure. On the other hand, cultural changes have in turn led to changes in value systems, ideals, and ways of conceiving and experiencing reality as individuals. In this sense, it has been observed that rates of violence in its different forms are increasing among young people (and not only among those who are more vulnerable, or who present psychological disorders), who tend to normalize it in all contexts, including the context of couples.
This new scenario represents an important challenge for Psychology. Thus, it is necessary to analyze these new realities in-depth, to draw conclusions that will allow us to guide prevention and intervention policies in the near future.

This Research Topic will focus on psychological research that explores and measure these new forms of “cyber-relationships” and their risks among adolescents and young people. Studies that design and implement intervention programs to prevent or mitigate these risks are also welcome. Original Research, Systematic Review, and Methods studies are welcome. Topics may include, but are not limited to:
• cyberbullying,
• cyberdating,
• sexting,
• problematic Internet use,
• Internet Gaming Disorder-IGD


Keywords: Adolescence, youth, social media, Internet, relationship


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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