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The Role of Parents in Problematic Internet Use among US Adolescents

[journal article]

Bleakley, Amy; Ellithorpe, Morgan; Romer, Daniel

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Abstract The internet has transformed the way youth communicate, learn, and network, with implications for their broader social, psychological, and physical health and well-being. With the technological capability of accessing the internet from anywhere, at any time, paired with the enormous variety of internet activities in which youth engage - from social networking to chatting to streaming videos to playing games to watching television content - instances of problematic internet behavior have emerged. We conducted an online national survey of 629 US adolescents ages 12–17 years old and a matching survey of one of their parents. We investigated the relationship between problematic internet behavior and parental monitoring, parental mediation of internet use, and parental estimates of their adolescent's time spent using computers. Analyses showed that problematic internet use was associated with less parental monitoring and parental mediation and poorer parental relationships. Adolescents that spent a lot of time on the computer were also more likely to engage in problematic internet use. Although we cannot determine the direction of the relationships, results support the important role of parents in adolescents' problematic internet use. (author's abstract)
Keywords adolescent; Internet; online media; media; utilization; media skills; media consumption; psychosocial development; social problem; education; parenting style; parents; parent-child relationship; United States of America; mediation; online survey
Classification Interactive, electronic Media; Impact Research, Recipient Research
Document language English
Publication Year 2016
Page/Pages p. 24-34
Journal Media and Communication, 4 (2016) 3
Issue topic Adolescents in the Digital Age: Effects on Health and Development
ISSN 2183-2439
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution