The STEPin project is all about supporting parents to become role models for their children and motivators for using their time on-line in a sensible and constructive way while promoting the well-being of their children and the healthy lifestyle of their families.
In addressing the above, the project aims to:
-map out the current scene in all countries, record efforts to deal with Internet Abusing Behaviour/Addiction.
-develop a targeted upskilling programme for parents/educators, delivered in an engaging social learning environment and build around the concept of learner motivation.
-exploiting the role of parents as AMBASSADORS/ ROLE MODELS catering for the well-being of their children while introducing healthy life style within their families.
The Internet represents a technological breakthrough, a new way of communication and a new era with different characteristics regarding the transfer and speed of information. The advantages of Internet use are numerous, both on a professional and social level. In recent years, however, criticism of the harmful social and cultural implications of the internet has increased radically. Mental health scientists have today reached a point where they can observe pathological behaviour associated with its maladaptive use which may suggest that this medium has certain ‘addictive’ attributes (e.g. immediacy, easiness of information, range of stimuli). The range of problematic behaviour observed in the growing population of internet users range from addictive gaming, gambling, purchasing, viewing pornography and social networking to ‘cyber-bullying’ and ‘cyberchondria’, generally accompanied with addiction-like symptoms and clinical characteristics.
Recent research suggests, that while genetics and personality factors may play a role, specific familial influences may contribute to the increased or decreased likelihood of an adolescent developing IAB especially gaming. Based on the above the STEPin project aims to develop, pilot-test, assess and promote a comprehensive TOOL KIT to support Parents (main target group), & adult educators in dealing with internet/screen abusive behaviours (e.g. gaming) in an attempt to monitor their children’s habits while at the same time introducing healthier and well-being aspects in their lives.