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Parents want to make own conscious decision about adolescent's media use

R esearch shows that the way parents handle and discuss their children's use of media can prevent or reduce media's harmful effects. It is therefore important that parents are given the right tools and information for making media choices. What information do they need regarding media education? And how can Kijkwijzer meet this need?

Group interviews with parents showed that they find it hard to control children's media use. Background information from experts and peers that applies to their specific situation would help them to make independent, conscious media choices.

The 3 most important insights:

  1. External influences like friends and older children, a growing range of available media content and devices, such as smartphones and tablets, make it hard for parents to keep an eye on the media that their children use.
  2. Parents want to remain autonomous when it comes to media education. To support this education, parents want to have access to information about children's media use that is easily accessible, personalised and (scientifically) substantiated. Apart from information from professionals, parents also want to hear from their peers. Kijkwijzer's intention to intensify its information services was well received.
  3. Parents give their children significant autonomy within their own media education. Parents indicate, for example, that they talk about using media and that they make their children responsible for their screentime once they go to middle school (at around age 12).


What did we use these insights for?

This research contributed to Kijkwijzer's nuancing of its (teen) age categories. Furthermore, Kijkwijzer will be transforming into a tool: instead of a cautionary role, Kijkwijzer wants to play an informative and participatory role in the lives of children, adolescents and parents.

About this research

Young researchers at Radboud University invited 18 parents with children between 14 and 17 years of age to take part in group interviews with at least 4 participants per group. The themes that were discussed related to parents' information needs regarding the media education of their children.

Want to read more?

+ 'Teenager wants to make own choice about potentially harmful content'

Published: May 11 2020