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As ever younger kids go online, how are European families responding: focus on socio-economic status

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As ever younger kids go online, how are European families responding: focus on socio-economic status

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This presentation addresses 3 questions: (1) How are parents of very young children managing or mediating their children’s digital activities? (2) Are there important socioeconomic variations in the type and amount of mediation? (3) How can parents of young children be better supported as they approach the task of parental mediation? To address these we draw on qualitative research with 70 European families, as originally reported in Chaudron S.,  et al. (2015) Young Children (0-8) and digital technology: A qualitative exploratory study across seven countries. Available at http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC93239

This presentation addresses 3 questions: (1) How are parents of very young children managing or mediating their children’s digital activities? (2) Are there important socioeconomic variations in the type and amount of mediation? (3) How can parents of young children be better supported as they approach the task of parental mediation? To address these we draw on qualitative research with 70 European families, as originally reported in Chaudron S.,  et al. (2015) Young Children (0-8) and digital technology: A qualitative exploratory study across seven countries. Available at http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC93239

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As ever younger kids go online, how are European families responding: focus on socio-economic status

  1. 1. IAMCR 2015 14th July 2015 Montreal Sonia Livingstone s.livingstone@lse.ac.uk Stephane Chaudron stephane.chaudron@jrc.ec.europa.eu 1 As ever younger kids go online, how are European families responding: focus on socio-economic status Sonia Livingstone, Giovanna Mascheroni, Michael Dreier & Stephane Chaudron www.jrc.ec.europa.eu www.eukidsonline.net
  2. 2. Children are growing up digitally April 2013 Terrelfamilyfun.com
  3. 3. Children use digital technology from infancy 314 July 2015
  4. 4. 414 July 2015 JRC 0-8 Pilot Study - 2014 7 countries 70 families Chaudron S., Beutel M.E, Černikova M., Donoso Navarette V., Dreier M., Fletcher-Watson B., Heikkilä A-S., Kontríková V., Korkeamäki R-L., Livingstone S., Marsh J., Mascheroni G., Micheli M., Milesi D., Müller K.W. , Myllylä-Nygård T., Niska M., Olkina O., Ottovordemgentschenfelde S., Plowman L., Ribbens W., Richardson J., Schaack C. , Shlyapnikov V., Šmahel D., Soldatova G. and Wölfling K. (2015) Young Children (0-8) and digital technology: A qualitative exploratory study across seven countries. http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC932 39
  5. 5. • How are parents of very young children managing or mediating their children’s digital activities? • Are there important socioeconomic variations in the type and amount of mediation? • How can parents of young children be better supported as they approach the task of parental mediation? Aims
  6. 6. Social class <-> understanding of good parenting in US context (Clark, 2013) exportable in EU? ‘ethic of expressive empowerment’ of upper and middle-class parents -> raising self-confidence vs ‘ethic of respectful connectedness’ -> following parental authority in EU context ? Why social class ?
  7. 7. • 10 families in each country • Each with a 6/7 year old and younger • Whole family interview • Parent interview • Child interview and observation • Child games, drawings, media tour etc. Method
  8. 8. Families and social class
  9. 9. Lower income, less educated • Relatively high device ownership at home • An ‘ethic of respectful connectedness’ in overall parenting values • A generation gap in ICT expertise between parents and children, especially among immigrant families • More restrictive parental mediation strategies regarding digital devices, yet parents who are rather ambivalent and worried about ICTs. • “We have friends who let their children watch TV while having breakfast alone in the kitchen, while mum and dad get dressed, and you can see at school they are already brainwashed I would say. I know it is exaggerated, but they are dumb, like hypnotised. That’s why I set the rule.” (Italian parent) 9
  10. 10. Lower income, more educated • A mix of media-rich and media-poor homes in terms of device ownership • A variety of domestic circumstances with a high proportion of single-parent households • Fairly confident parents in terms of both their ICT skills and thus their ability to prioritise active over restrictive mediation. • “The youngest [3 yr old girl] watches DVDs that are actually intended for six-year-olds with her sister. There are often Disney movies in which there might be a scary moment. But that is guided of course. But then I say, you know there is always a happy ending but we need to go through this part. So, then we discuss that. But, otherwise I think those [movies] are fine.” (Belgian parent) 10
  11. 11. Higher income, more educated • An ‘ethic of expressive empowerment’ in parenting values • A wide range of diverse mediation practices including different strategies to manage restrictions for digital device use • Efforts to promote offline (non-digital) activities for children while limiting digital activities in the home • Parents who work with ICTs or from home using ICTs often find their own practices undermine their efforts to limit their children’s ICT use 11 “If she watches Laura’s Star and the main character is in danger, although she knows that there will be a happy ending, I have to be at her side. She couldn’t watch it alone. It is the same with books. One cannot simply read every one book to her, especially in the evening. Bedtime stories including, for instance a wolf or bad things is a no-go for her. Accordingly watching TV is regulated in the same manner. Most of the time she loses interest anyway after half an hour of watching TV.” (German parent)
  12. 12. Conclusions • Clark’s ethics of empowerment and respectfulness fit higher/lower SES families in Europe well (better than alternative theories?) • Many European families have higher education/lower income, and these more fit the empowerment model • Parental expertise with and interest in digital media is a crucial factor that cuts across SES differences • Support for parental digital expertise and interest might be the effective way of supporting lower SES families • Even higher educated families would benefit from guidance on how digital media can be used to empower their children • Parents prefer to receive support from their child’s nursery/school yet this is rarely on offer 12
  13. 13. Thank you! 14 July 2015 13
  14. 14. The European Commission’s in-house science service
  15. 15. The European Commission’s in- house science service www.jrc.ec.europa.eu Digital Citizen Security Unit Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen A study founded and coordinated by Contact: stephane.chaudron@jrc.ec.europa.eu Report: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/ repository/handle/JRC93239 Young Children (0-8) & Digital Technology

Editor's Notes

  • Children grow up in digital homes
    Young children lead active, varied lives in which technology plays an important part.

    Technology use is balanced with many other activities, including outdoor play and non-digital toys.

    Apart from hand-held games devices, kids don’t usually own the devices but they share family devices or borrow parents’ (especially their smartphone).

    It is embedded into daily life, with extended family members and networks outside the home playing a key role in socialisation and communication.

    When very young, children try to do what they see older siblings/parents doing, they want to join in and have fun

    They are also ready to ask for help, guidance, sharing – but then they ‘grow out of it’.
  • Children grow up in digital homes
    Young children lead active, varied lives in which technology plays an important part.

    Technology use is balanced with many other activities, including outdoor play and non-digital toys.

    Apart from hand-held games devices, kids don’t usually own the devices but they share family devices or borrow parents’ (especially their smartphone).

    It is embedded into daily life, with extended family members and networks outside the home playing a key role in socialisation and communication.

    When very young, children try to do what they see older siblings/parents doing, they want to join in and have fun

    They are also ready to ask for help, guidance, sharing – but then they ‘grow out of it’.
  • A research across 7 countries and supported by european experts: With colleagues from KULeuven (Belgium), Masaryk University Brno (Czech Republic), Universität Mainz (Germany), Future School Research Center (University of Oulu, Finland), Universtità del Sacro Cuore Milano (Italy), Moscow State University (Russia), London School of Economics and Political Science (UK), University of Edinburgh (UK), University of Sheffield (UK), Insafe/EuropeanSchoolnet and JRC Ispra.

    Parents and children provided very insightful information about their use of the technologies. This study touched seventy families and was simultaneously implemented in six European countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Italy, UK) and Russia, and performed by researchers from selected universities. The environment of this research was limited to the home and family context. It focused on interviewing children that consume digital technology at least once a week, aged between 6 and 7 (just entering in September 2014 in 2nd grade of primary school and possibly with at least one younger sibling) and their family (at least one parent). A first report issued in January 2015 reports on the first analysis findings.
     

  • Children grow up in digital homes
    Young children lead active, varied lives in which technology plays an important part.

    Technology use is balanced with many other activities, including outdoor play and non-digital toys.

    Apart from hand-held games devices, kids don’t usually own the devices but they share family devices or borrow parents’ (especially their smartphone).

    It is embedded into daily life, with extended family members and networks outside the home playing a key role in socialisation and communication.

    When very young, children try to do what they see older siblings/parents doing, they want to join in and have fun

    They are also ready to ask for help, guidance, sharing – but then they ‘grow out of it’.
  • Children grow up in digital homes
    Young children lead active, varied lives in which technology plays an important part.

    Technology use is balanced with many other activities, including outdoor play and non-digital toys.

    Apart from hand-held games devices, kids don’t usually own the devices but they share family devices or borrow parents’ (especially their smartphone).

    It is embedded into daily life, with extended family members and networks outside the home playing a key role in socialisation and communication.

    When very young, children try to do what they see older siblings/parents doing, they want to join in and have fun

    They are also ready to ask for help, guidance, sharing – but then they ‘grow out of it’.
  • Children grow up in digital homes
    Young children lead active, varied lives in which technology plays an important part.

    Technology use is balanced with many other activities, including outdoor play and non-digital toys.

    Apart from hand-held games devices, kids don’t usually own the devices but they share family devices or borrow parents’ (especially their smartphone).

    It is embedded into daily life, with extended family members and networks outside the home playing a key role in socialisation and communication.

    When very young, children try to do what they see older siblings/parents doing, they want to join in and have fun

    They are also ready to ask for help, guidance, sharing – but then they ‘grow out of it’.

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