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University of Wisconsin Research Team Offers Advice to Parents on Internet Safety

Children surfing the Internet can be a nightmare issue for parents to navigate. But now there is a book, based on research at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, which serves as a toolkit for parents on the dangers and benefits of the internet and social media.


Dr. Megan MorenoThe book, Sex, Drugs ‘n Facebook: a Parent’s Toolkit, was written by former UW School of Medicine and Public Health researcher Dr. Megan Moreno and co-authored by 23 UW School of Medicine and Public Health residents and students from a variety of backgrounds.


The residents and students were part of Moreno's Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT).


"The book is really about creating a conversation between parents and children," said Sara Klunk, a UW senior majoring in marketing and human resources at the School of Business.


Moreno asked Klunk to join SMAHRT after she took one of Moreno's research classes.


"The book is designed for parents who are social-media savvy as well as those who are not.  The tips and advice are relevant to all social media platforms," said Klunk.


Sex, Drugs ‘n Facebook describes the problems of Internet safety and what issues parents might face. It covers sexting, privacy, cyberbullying, cyberstalking, Internet addiction, exposure to porn and other issues.


The content was based on five years of research funded by a $2.5 million National Institutes of Health grant as well as focus groups of parents, teachers and education policy specialists. Klunk says the book's approach is not "one size fits all."


"We recognized that effective approaches are different for an 8-year-old versus a 15-year-old. So the advice is age-specific," said Klunk.


"This book is unique because it includes so many perspectives," said Moreno. "I bring the experience and perspective of an adolescent-medicine pediatrician, social-media researcher and mom. But the book offers the perspectives of adolescents as research subjects and college-age student researchers. Every chapter was reviewed by parents of adolescents."


Sex, Drugs ‘n Facebook: A Parents’ Toolkit goes on sale Oct. 1 on Amazon and Hunter House Publishers.

Date Published: 09/30/2013

News tag(s):  pediatricsresearch

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University of Wisconsin Research Team Offers Advice to Parents on Internet Safety

Last updated: 10/01/2013
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