How families with young children are solving the dilemma between privacy and protection by building trust - a portrait from Portugal

Patrícia Dias*, Rita Brito

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Parents are the main mediators of the digital exposure and experiences of young children. When adopting a parental mediation style, they are challenged by a dilemma: protecting their children often means invading their privacy and restricting their options. The adopted parental mediation style is pondered according to the perceptions and experiences of parents regarding digital media; it is an ongoing and dynamic negotiation between the actions of parents and children. Our research focuses on mobile apps, since the favourite devices of young children are smartphones and tablets, in order to explore how parents and children select apps, and which criteria they use. Our fieldwork was conducted in Portugal and used a mixed method, combining an online survey to a purposive sample of 1955 parents of children under 8 years old, and separate interviews to parents and children under 8 to a purposive sample of 81 families. Our results reveal how parents are coping with contrasting perceptions on digital media and how they negotiate their parental mediation style in interaction with their children. Parents believe more in building trust than in restricting children, but when they find it necessary, their will to protect overcomes their respect for the children’s privacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-73
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Children and Media
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Digital media
  • Digital technologies
  • Parental mediation
  • Perceptions
  • Privacy
  • Trust
  • Young children

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