Supervision Matters Teenagers’ Perception of Parents’ Involvement in Their Internet Use


With the growing popularity of digital devices, such as smart phones, iPads, laptops and computers, Internet can now be accessed with almost any content, from anywhere, at anytime. For teenagers, Internet has become an integral part of their daily life for information, education, entertainment and socialization. As teenagers are in a complicated period of development, parents struggle in supervising their use of the internet. This study takes the teenagers’ standpoint and explores how the teenagers perceive their parents’ involvement in their internet use. Both survey (n=325) and focus group methods are conducted towards teenagers in UAE, which has the highest penetration of digital devices in the Gulf region as well as one of the highest in the world. The results show that the teenagers do believe that parents’ involvement in their internet use is beneficial, especially from the view of older teenagers and those who are more addicted to the Internet. However, not enough parents’ supervision has been given to those who claim to be highly attached to the internet. It is also found that parents’ involvement in teenagers’ internet use is gender specific with more supervision over girls than boys. More discussions are made from psychological and socio-cultural perspectives and suggestions for future research and applications are presented. The study provides insights into teenager's perception of their parents' involvement in Internet use and the findings indicate more parents' supervision are needed from the teenagers' point of view.

Author Information
Shujun Jiang

Paper Information
Conference: EuroMedia2014
Stream: Mass Communication

This paper is part of the EuroMedia2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon