Parental Awareness and Monitoring of Adolescent Internet Use
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This study focused on four aspects of parental monitoring of Internet use by their children: parental supervision, communication and tracking, and adolescent disclosure. Data were obtained from a SAFT (Safety Awareness for Teens Project) national survey of Singapore youths and parents regarding Internet safety at home. Study 1 examined 1,124 adolescents and 1,002 parents; Study 2 examined a subsample of 169 dyads of adolescents and their parents. Frequency of use and engagement in risky Internet behaviors such as visiting inappropriate websites were analysed. The results indicated that parents tend to underestimate adolescents’ engagement in risky Internet behaviors and overestimate the amount of parental monitoring regarding Internet safety that occurs at home. The study suggested that mothers have a better awareness of their adolescents’ Internet use than fathers. The findings were explained in the context of parental monitoring. The results suggest that parental monitoring needs to be reconceptualized and that parents need to improve the communication with their adolescents regarding Internet use.