Internet use among mothers of young children in Norway—a survey of Internet habits and perceived parental competence when caring for a sick child
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- Skranes, L.P., Løhaugen, G.C.C., Botngård, A. et al. J Public Health (2014) 22: 423. doi:10.1007/s10389-014-0631-x
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The Internet has become the leading source of child health information for parents. Perceived parental competence, self-efficacy, education and satisfaction with traditional health services may influence Internet use. The aim of study was to investigate the interplay between these factors.
Subject and methods
A survey that included 99 Norwegian mothers to young children was conducted to assess the relationship between Internet use concerning child health, perceived parental competence, self-efficacy and demographic factors in the context of having a sick child.
Nearly all Norwegian parents have Internet access at home and use the net regularly, including when their child is sick. The Internet was the main source of information about child health in general, while most parents used the traditional health services when their child became sick. Internet usage was negatively correlated to mother’s education, but not to mother’s age, number of children or degree of satisfaction with traditional health services. A third of mothers reported that they became very anxious and nearly half reported lack of knowledge when their child was sick. Parental perceived competence and self-efficacy were not correlated with maternal age, education or number of children, and it did not influence the extent of Internet searching for child health information.
The Internet is the main source of child health information for Norwegian mothers of young children, and usage seems mainly independent of maternal age, education, perceived competence and self-efficacy, and the degree of satisfaction with traditional health services.