Educational challenges of emerging risks in cyberspace: foundations of an appropriate strategy for preventing online child victimization

Retos educativos ante los riesgos emergentes en el ciberespacio: claves para una adecuada prevención de la cibervictimización en menores

Irene Montiel, José R. Agustina


In just a few years, technological changes have transformed how people interact and communicate with each other, in particular among so-called digital adolescents. The impact of technology on routine activities and mainstream culture has led to an increase in young peoples’ exposure to psychological and criminological risks. As a result of this new psychosocial trend, new educational challenges are appearing and it is becoming more necessary to react to these challenges on the basis of an adequate diagnosis of psychology and pedagogy relating to adolescents.

Criminological theories and research have tried to identify risk and protection factors to understand victimisation processes in more depth and improve prevention strategies. In this context, it is necessary to develop educational programs that consider personal, familial, and situational vulnerabilities and weaknesses in order to foster resilient individuals who can successfully confront the risks inherent to cyberspace. By analysing specific forms of cybervictimisation, guidelines based on criminological research and the most frequent victimisation processes will be identified in order to improve design of educational programs focused on parents, educators and potential victims.

This is the English version of an article originally printed in Spanish in issue 273 of the revista española de pedagogía. For this reason, the abbreviation EV has been added to the page numbers. Please, cite this article as follows: Montiel, I., & Agustina, J. R. (2019). Retos educativos ante los riesgos emergentes en el ciberespacio: claves para una adecuada prevención de la cibervictimización en menores | Educational challenges of emerging risks in cyberspace: foundations of an appropriate strategy for preventing online child victimisation. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 77 (273), 277-294. doi:

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Irene Montiel has a doctorate in Psychology from the Universidad de Valencia, an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Criminology from the same university, and a Master’s in Legal Psychology from the Universidad Católica San Vicente Mártir. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Universidad Internacional de Catalonia where she coordinates the Master’s in Cybercrime. Cyber-victimisation in minors is one of her main research interests.

José R. Agustina is Associate Professor in Criminal Law at the Universitat Internacional of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain). He gained a doctorate in Law at Universitat Pompeu Fabra and has been accredited as a Full Professor in Criminal Law by AQU Catalunya, the Agency for the Quality of the University system of Catalonia. He currently directs the Master’s in Cybercrime and the Master’s in Legal, Forensic, and Criminological Psychopathology. His research interests include specialising in cyber-victimisation of minors.