David Smahel

David Smahel
Masaryk University | MUNI · Faculty of Social Studies, Faculty of Informatics, editor of Cyberpsychology.eu

Prof. PhDr., Ph.D.

About

151
Publications
73,842
Reads
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2,978
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Introduction
David Smahel, Ph.D. is the Professor at the Faculty of Social Studies and Faculty of Informatics, Masaryk University, the Czech Republic. He is member of Interdisciplinary Research Team on Internet and Society (irtis.muni.cz) which researches social-psychological implications of the internet and technology. Current research focuses on adolescents’ and adults’ internet use, the online risks of children and adolescents, the construction of online identities and virtual relationships, and online addictive behavior. He is editor of Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace ( www.cyberpsychology.eu ) and has co-authored books Digital Youth: The Role of Media in Development (Springer, 2011) and Digital Technology, Eating Behaviors, and Eating Disorders (Springer, 2018).
Additional affiliations
October 2014 - present
Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • http://irtis.fss.muni.cz/
January 2014 - December 2017
Masaryk University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
January 2003 - September 2014
Masaryk University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Education
October 2003 - June 2008
Masaryk University
Field of study
  • Developmental Psychology
September 1999 - October 2003
Masaryk University
Field of study
  • Social psychology

Publications

Publications (151)
Article
Body-positive online content (BPOC) has recently become widespread, yet the factors that explain its association with body satisfaction have scarcely been studied. The current study investigates the indirect association between the self-reported frequency of viewing BPOC and body satisfaction through body appreciation and the moderating roles of bo...
Article
Full-text available
Online surveys have become a popular way to collect data. However, response rates are low, specifically for online intercept-based surveys, which can be as low as 1%. This raises questions about the accuracy of the inferences based on these results. Furthermore, it is difficult to compare the characteristics and behavior of the responders and nonre...
Article
Full-text available
This article provides detailed evidence about the installers of online security software on personal computers according to differences among clusters of countries and various other country characteristics. The study presents unique data based on real installations around the world. The data are based on a large-scale quantitative study ( N = 18,72...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in children's and adolescents’ psychological, social, and physical well-being. Though we primarily focus on the impact on well-being, we put emphasis on the depiction of the complex relationships among ICT use, well-being, and other influential factors. This is ill...
Article
Online health information seeking (OHIS) behaviors are prevalent among adolescents, which might guide their behaviors in the health domain, and therefore substantially impact their overall health. This study examined adolescent and parental factors in the disease- and fitness-related OHIS behaviors of adolescents. Trust in online health information...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report is focused on mHealth apps usage among Czech adolescents. The data were collected in June 2021 in Czech households with an online questionnaire that was filled out by adolescents and their parents or legal guardians. A total of 2,484 adolescents, aged 11-16, participated in the study. The results indicate that: Over half of adolescents...
Article
While the Internet is part of everyday life for many children, inequalities exist in their digital skills, with little known about the influence of perceived discrimination on these inequalities. Building on survey data collected from nationally representative samples of 10,820 children aged 12–16 in 14 European countries, we seek to understand whe...
Article
Smartphone authentication is becoming a cornerstone security component, so it is necessary to have methods that are usable and secure to ensure adequate protection, especially for mobile banking. Though biometric authentication seems to be perceived as very usable by users, there is a lack of research to compare smartphone-based fingerprint verific...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Smartphone ownership has increased among teens within the last decade, with up to 89% of adolescents owning a smartphone and through it engaging daily with the online world. Although the results of recent meta-analyses suggest that engaging digital technology plays only a small role in adolescent wellbeing, parents, professionals, and po...
Article
Full-text available
Although adolescents’ exposure to harmful online content has been linked to decreased subjective well-being and offline risky behaviors, there is limited research on the factors that underlie such problematic online behavior. Using the conceptual framework of Problem Behavior Theory, this study examined the role of risk (i.e., emotional problems, s...
Article
This study investigates the structural relationship between two types of cyberaggression: cyberhate and cyberbullying. Cyberhate is online hate speech that attacks collective identities. Cyberbullying is defined by the intent to harm, its repeated nature, and a power imbalance. Considering these features and the shared commonalities, we used survey...
Chapter
We present a method for building text corpora for the supervised learning of text-to-text anonymization while maintaining a strict privacy policy. In our solution, personal data entities are detected, classified, and anonymized. We use available machine-learning methods, like named-entity recognition, and improve their performance by grouping multi...
Article
Adolescents commonly make new social connections online that sometimes result in face-to-face meetings. Despite potential benefits, risk-focused discourse dominates public debates and shapes information shared by sources important for adolescents—news media, preventive programs, peers, parents, and teachers. Our study examines how information about...
Article
Smartphones have recently become a major target for cybercriminals due to large amounts of sensitive data and credentials being stored on the devices. To protect themselves against cyberthreats, users can employ a range of security behaviors. Although research has largely focused on computer security, relatively little is known about personal smart...
Article
Even though the internet is a common source of information and treatment for people with eating disorder (ED) experience, the motives for illness-related searches have rarely been investigated beyond the perceived negatives. This study explores how women with ED experience reflect upon the advantages and disadvantages of their ED-related internet u...
Article
Home users of information and communication technologies are often the target of online attacks. At the same time they tend to lack the knowledge and skills to effectively protect themselves. Families with children are in a particularly difficult position since parents are responsible not only for their own digital safety, but of their children’s t...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report describes in detail the methodology used for the EU Kids Online IV project. Within this project, a large-scale survey of children aged 9–17 from 19 European countries was conducted. The data were collected between autumn 2017 and summer 2019 from 25,101 children by national teams from the EU Kids Online network. This report provides inf...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report is based on further analysis of the EU Kids Online data collected across 19 European countries in 2017–19 (Smahel et al., 2020), and aims to identify the antecedents and consequences of digital skills among children. More specifically, in Section 3, "The antecedents of digital skills", we tested the relationship between individual chara...
Article
Objectives Adolescents who deal with more emotional problems have been found to seek escape online, and struggle with excessive internet use (EIU). Poor social relationships have been linked with emotional problems. The current study investigated positive family and school relationships as protective factors against emotional problems and a prefere...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Report presents the findings about cyberhate experiences among 11 to 17year olds from 10 European countries: Czech Republic, Finland, Flanders, France, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.
Article
Full-text available
One of the debates about media usage is the potential harmful effect that it has on body image and related eating disturbances because of its representations of the “ideal body”. This study focuses on the drive for thinness among the visitors of various health-oriented websites and online platforms because neither has yet been sufficiently studied...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report describes the results of testing of authentication methods and applications for smartphones, including the methodology that was used. We want to determine the authentication methods that are perceived as secure and user-friendly by the end users, and which methods users would prefer. This technical report may be of interest to security...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report presents the findings from a survey of children aged 9–16 from 19 European countries. The data were collected between autumn 2017 and summer 2019 from 25,101 children by national teams from the EU Kids Online network. A theoretical model and a common methodology to guide this work was developed during four phases of the network’s work,...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This research report is based on empirical data collected from April to June 2019 at 32 schools in South Moravia. The report summarizes the basic findings regarding the links between the permission or prohibition of mobile devices to adolescents' activities during breaks, their Internet use, and some of the difficulties that are presented in the me...
Article
This study focuses on two strategies for online parental mediation: active mediation (sharing and discussing activities with children) and monitoring (checking the children’s internet activity after use). Previous studies have shown the importance of respondents’ and children’s characteristics regarding mediation strategies. Using a socioecological...
Article
This paper combines clinical-psychological and digital literacy frameworks to shed new light on explanations for excessive Internet use (EIU). The combination of these opposing approaches leads to a more comprehensive explanation of intense use with negative outcomes. A survey with a random sample of 18,709 Internet-using children between 11 and 16...
Article
Internet usage may have both positive and negative impacts on people with eating disorders. In research to date, most of the focus has been put on the harms connected with platforms that support people in continuing their disorder. Less studied have been the benefits of other technology platforms used by people with eating disorders. When these dif...
Presentation
Full-text available
Spyware and viruses are the most common data protection problem for the surveyed children. While relatively few children report to have lost money by being cheated on the Internet (between 2% and 5%), these numbers have slightly increased when compared to 2010. Between 3% and 10% of the children say they spent too much money on in-app purchases or...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Nutrition, diet, and fitness are among the most searched health topics by internet users. Besides that, health-related internet users are diverse in their motivations and individual characteristics. However, little is known about the individual characteristics associated with the usage of nutrition, weight loss, and fitness websites. OB...
Chapter
Internet addiction can be defined as the overuse of the internet such that it leads to the impairment of an individual's psychological state (both mental and emotional), as well as their scholastic, occupational, and social interactions. In this chapter, the authors first present a short historical overview of the internet addiction phenomenon and...
Article
We provide a systematic review of interventions utilizing mobile technology to alter physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep among adults aged 50 years and older. A systematic search identified 52 relevant articles (randomized control trial [RCT], quasi-experimental, pre/post single-group design). Of 50 trials assessing physical activity,...
Presentation
Digitalization of health services is among top EU priorities, yet takeup of eHealth tools is slower in some EU countries than others. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of information communication technology (ICT) and eHealth tools by Czech general practitioners (GPs), to elucidate their motivation and barriers to eHealth technologies a...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Tato zpráva podává souhrn zjištění vztahujících se k problematice použití digitálních technologií u lidí trpících poruchou příjmu potravy. Je výstupem z projektu THINLINE “Tenká hranice mezi poruchou a zdravým životním stylem: Zkoumání online chování dnešních mladých lidí“, který probíhal pod záštitou Fakulty sociálních studií Masarykovy univerzity...
Book
This book examines in depth the multifaceted roles of digital technologies in the eating behaviors and eating disorders. Coverage reflects a broad theoretical and empirical knowledge of current trends in digital technology use in health behaviors, and their risks and benefits affecting wellbeing, with focus on eating behaviors and eating disorders....
Chapter
The chapter presents an overview of the main issues concerning the seeking and assessment of online information related to health and eating behaviors. It provides an overview of the prevalence of online health information and introduces salient factors related to the tendency to seek online information. Specifically, it discusses the role of demog...
Chapter
Online groups are diverse online places and platforms where people with common interests or goals meet and share information, materials, or support. The chapter focuses on online groups oriented toward eating behaviors and describes the diversity of eating-oriented online groups that are connected through digital technology. The diverse factors def...
Chapter
Clients with eating disorders (ED) make up a group of vulnerable digital technology users. Since digital technologies can play an important role in their lives, the potential impacts of such usage should be discussed in relation to mental healthcare. The purpose of this chapter is to encourage healthcare professionals to reflect on the possible imp...
Chapter
The first chapter of this book introduces the role of digital technology in eating behaviors and eating disorders. It provides information concerning the prevalence of digital technology usage within current society and depicts questions that have been asked with regard to the consequences of this behavior. Then it defines the key terms of the book...
Chapter
The chapter provides an overview of the impact of technology use on human health. Nowadays, new communication technologies are widely used to address health issues. These technologies provide opportunities both to gather information and to easily communicate with health specialists or others to maintain, monitor, or optimize individual health. This...
Chapter
The proliferation of digital technology among the population has caused an increased usage of health-oriented software and mobile applications, called mHealth. These are used for health services, information searches, communication about health, and monitoring health-oriented data. This chapter describes the usage of mobile technologies in health-r...
Chapter
Full-text available
The present chapter is intended to provide a theoretical and empirical overview of the link between technologies, body image, and eating behavior, particularly disordered eating. In general terms, body image refers to an individual’s self-perception and cognitive appraisal of his or her own body. On the other hand, disordered eating refers to a wid...
Chapter
This chapter provides concluding remarks concerning the topics discussed throughout the whole book. First, it discusses the complexity of the studied problematic areas and points out several issues important to consider in the assessment of the impact of technology—specifically, what users perceive as beneficial might not be seen as beneficial from...
Chapter
The present chapter provides an overview of prevention and treatment strategies using digital technologies to target eating disorders. We review the development of the prevention and treatment discourse, which has added digital technologies to its repertoire of tools in the last two decades. Next, we review current research on approaches proven eff...
Chapter
Digital technologies have become an integral part of our lives. Many clients with eating disorders use digital technologies daily; the Internet plays an important role in their lives, enhancing (or creating) both positive and negative experiences. This chapter is an attempt to increase our understanding of the roles of digital technologies in the e...
Chapter
This chapter reports on a study conducted in seven countries in which young children’s (aged under 8) digital practices in the home were examined. The study explored family practices with regard to access to and use of technologies, tracing the ways in which families managed risks and opportunities. Seventy families participated in the study, and i...
Article
The aim of this study was to explore how professionals working with clients who suffer from eating disorders reflect the impact of digital technologies on their clients. Interviews with 30 professionals were conducted. A qualitative analysis revealed the following areas: (a) the attributes of technologies that influence people with eating disorders...
Article
While malicious software (malware) is designed to disrupt or damage computer systems, potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) combine useful features with less desirable ones, such as adware or spyware. Unlike anti-malware solutions, removing PUAs can be controversial, for both the PUA owners and also the users who might wish to accept the PUA fea...
Article
The varying quality of information available on the internet has increased the need for the assessment of the trustworthiness of online information. This need can be even more pressing in the consideration of information that has the potential to harm one's health. This study examined the perceived importance of credibility cues for the assessment...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Nutrition, diet, and fitness are among the most searched health topics by Internet users. On the other hand, health-related Internet users are diverse in their motivations and individual characteristics. However, little is known about the individual characteristics associated with the usage of nutrition, weight loss, and fitness websit...
Article
Previous research on youths’ experiences with online strangers has mostly utilized quantitative designs which may result in the omission of important parts of the youths’ experiences and perceptions. In this qualitative study, we adopt a child-centred approach and focus on the children’s and adolescents’ experiences with unknown people from the Int...
Article
Full-text available
The present-day reality that young children use digital media has forced parents to balance the risks and opportunities of the content that their children may encounter online. Current studies have mostly been quantitative. They have mainly focused on children aged 9 and older, and have addressed the types of mediation that parents use. However, th...
Article
Full-text available
The usage of mobile health (mHealth) applications is rapidly increasing. This research has been aimed mostly at reviewing existing mHealth apps and their functionality. However, studies from users' perspectives are rather scarce. This exploratory study addresses that gap and, using cross-sectional survey data, seeks to reveal the socio-demographic...
Article
Nowadays, the use of digital technology is an important issue that should be addressed during the treatment of people who have eating disorders. The involvement or absence of this issue reflects the understanding, experience, and atttude of health-care professionals toward their clients’ use of technology. The aim of the present study was to invest...
Article
The use of online communities and websites for health information has proliferated along with the use of mobile apps for managing health behaviors such as diet and exercise. The scarce evidence available to date suggests that users of these websites and apps differ in significant ways from non-users but most data come from US- and UK-based populati...
Presentation
Full-text available
Eating disorders present a substantial health problem in current society. Their development is affected by several individual and societal factors, including traditional and, now, also digital media. Digital technologies (especially the Internet and mobile phones) are embedded in the everyday lives of most people in Western countries: they shape no...
Article
Previous research has focused on the associations between technology use and children's health, using mainly quantitative designs. This qualitative study describes technology's impact on physical and mental health from children's perspectives. The differences between children's experiences and awareness of the health-related consequences associated...
Article
Full-text available
Dear researchers, colleagues, and readers interested in internet-related research, We are delighted to present the fourth and final issue of 2016, which comprises of seven articles that cover a variety of topics, theoretical perspectives, and methodological approaches. Besides an article from the U.S., the research presented in this issue is primar...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Executive summary: Nowadays, almost every child from a certain age uses a digital device connected to the Internet, meaning parents have to deal with a whole new aspect of parenting – 'digital parenting'. They have to decide what is good or bad for their children when it comes to using digital devices, how much control is appropriate and how to ens...
Article
Full-text available
This study explores the individual differences associated with adolescents' exposure to ‘‘ana-mia" websites (i.e., websites where people discuss ways to be very thin, such as being anorexic). Participants were adolescents from a large cross-national survey in 25 European countries (N = 18,709, aged 11–16, 50% girls). Sociodemographic and individual...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
Dear researchers, colleagues, and readers interested in research on cyberspace, We are honored to present the July issue (2-2015) of Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace. In this issue, we present five articles which are methodologically diverse-the authors used surveys, experimental design, and one article is a theoretic...
Book
Full-text available
This book reflects the current issues in today's life in society which are influenced by digital media. In four parts, the book focuses on the field of online self-presentation and creating an impression; online networking among young people; digital betting and gaming; and political participation in the digital era. These topics are described usin...
Chapter
This chapter presents a case study, which will provide a better understanding of the phenomenon of Internet addiction, followed by a historical overview of the Internet addiction phenomenon and its place in the context of mental health. It introduces the contributions of major researchers who, focused on defining its core components, designed measu...
Chapter
Full-text available
The chapter examines the management of online privacy on Social Network Sites (SNS) among children and adolescents. Petronio’s Communication Privacy Management Theory (CPM) was selected as the primary theoretical framework for capturing the process of privacy management and boyd’s features and dynamics of networked publics were used to depict the s...
Article
Previous research has mainly focused on the effects of excessive digital media use or overuse on the health of children, primarily utilizing quantitative designs. More research should be conducted on general populations of children, rather than focusing exclusively on excessive technology users. This qualitative study describes technology's impact...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Despite the growing number of very young children who go online and who are using a wide range of technologies, little is known about children’s interactions with those technologies. This report presents a pilot qualitative study designed and implemented in collaboration with a selected group of academic partners in different European countries tha...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research on youths’ online risky experiences has mostly utilized quantitative designs. However, some of this research does not account for youths’ views and perceptions. This qualitative study fills this gap by describing online problematic situations from the perspectives of European youths. This study focuses on classifying online proble...
Article
This special issue of Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research places a particular focus on two research agendas. Firstly, it deals primarily with the online experiences of children and young people from a range of European contexts and, secondly, it does this through reporting research projects that employ qualitative methods...
Article
Full-text available
The high editorial rejection rate means that half of the manuscripts were not of sufficient quality to go into the review process. We would like to decrease this number, and so we decided to list the typical reasons of editorial rejects below along with our recommendations for authors for lowering the chance of editorial rejection: The manuscript...