Narrative Persuasion in a Mobile Environment: Effectiveness of a Mobile Application for Promoting Digital Skills and Coping Strategies in Adolescents

Isabel Rodríguez-de-Dios, Juan-José Igartua, Leen d’Haenens


Digital skills and coping strategies have emerged as key competences for adolescents because of concerns about online risks and opportunities. With smartphones nigh ubiquitous nowadays, mobile applications are a promising tool for reaching adolescents and developing their competences. Because narratives have demonstrated their effectiveness for knowledge acquisition and attitudes, this study explores their use in mobile environments. A mobile application with narrative content was developed for teaching digital skills and coping strategies. A quasi-experiment conducted among 245 adolescents showed that the application was effective. Its use raised the level of personal security skill and intention to use active coping strategies when facing contact online risks. Identification with the main character and mobile acceptance predicted the impact of the app, but narrative transportation did not. This study suggests that narratives in mobile apps can be effective for adolescents.


digital skills; coping strategies; online risks; narrative persuasion

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