Mediation of young children’s digital technology use: The parents’ perspective

Abstract

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, they have not considered their relation to specific risks and opportunities. In the present study, we have sought to address this discrepancy and to understand the mediation strategies that parents use to shape the online experiences of their children. We focused on the factors that play a role in these mediations of specific risks and opportunities. In-depth semi-structured interviews with the parents of children aged 7–8 and their siblings in the Czech Republic (N=10 families) were conducted in 2014. A thematic analysis identified three main themes: (1) Mediation strategies of technology usage in relation to the mediation of online opportunities and online risks; (2) Time and place management of mediation strategies; and (3) The child as a co-creator of mediation strategies. Our results indicated that parental mediation is a dynamic process that is co-constructed by the parents and children according to context.

Bibliographic citation

Smahelova, M., Juhová, D., Cermak, I., & Smahel, D. (2017). Mediation of young children’s digital technology use: The parents’ perspective. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 11(3), Article 4. doi:https://doi.org/10.5817/CP2017-3-4

Keywords

Mediation strategies; online opportunities; online risks; thematic analysis; children

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