Internet Use by Children Aged six to nine: Parents’ Beliefs and Knowledge about Risk Prevention
The majority of studies on children’s Internet use have focused on children aged 9 years or older. However, children start using the Internet at increasingly younger ages, making research on these children necessary. Available studies warn that parents should be aware of the importance of protecting minors when using the Internet. This study focuses on the evaluation of parents’ beliefs and knowledge about their 6 to 9-year-old children’s Internet use. The sample is composed of 1827 parents who received a specially designed questionnaire. Results of the descriptive analysis show that 78% of children of these ages use the Internet, mainly for homework and games. Most of the parents are aware of the benefits and risks of the Internet, but roughly half of them state that they do not know how to set up content filters or parental controls, which is rather relevant, taking into account that 40% of these young children are sometimes left alone when online. At this age, some children have already had a bad experience when using the Internet. This study highlights the importance of working with parents and their children from very young ages in order to prevent victimization.
KeywordsInternet Children 6–9 year olds Parents’ beliefs Risks prevention Parental mediation
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