Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Minority parents fear for kids online

Date:
November 21, 2013
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
Nearly all parents agree -- when their children go online, stranger danger is their biggest safety concern, followed closely by exposure to pornography, violent content and bullying, according to a new study. But, a parent's level of concern for these and other online safety issues varies depending on their racial and ethnic background, researchers said.

Nearly all parents agree -- when their children go online, stranger danger is their biggest safety concern, followed closely by exposure to pornography, violent content and bullying, according to a collaborative study between researchers at Northwestern University and Microsoft Research.

But, a parent's level of concern for these and other online safety issues varies depending on their racial and ethnic background, researchers said.

Here are some highlights from the study, which was published in the journal Policy & Internet:

  • White parents are the least concerned about all online safety issues.
  • Parents of Asian and Hispanic descent are significantly more likely to be concerned about all online safety-related issues.
  • Black parents are significantly more concerned than white parents about children meeting harmful strangers or being exposed to pornography, but not about other issues.

"Policies that aim to protect children online talk about parents' concerns, assuming parents are this one homogenous group," said Eszter Hargittai, co-author of the study. "When you take a close look at demographic backgrounds of parents, concerns are not uniform across population groups."

Hargittai is Delaney Family Professor in the department of communication studies at Northwestern. The other co-author of the study is danah boyd, a principal researcher at Microsoft Research and a research assistant professor at New York University.

The results of the study come from a U.S. nationally representative online survey of parents and guardians with children ages 10 to 14 in their households. More than 1,000 parents took part in the survey in the summer of 2011.

Data collected included gender, race/ethnicity, age, education, household income, region/metro area, political ideology, religiosity, and the age and gender of the children.

Parents were presented with five specific scenarios their child could encounter online. Answer options ranged from "not at all concerned" to "extremely concerned" on a five-point scale. Here's how parents ranked their level of concern with these scenarios:

  1. Child meeting a stranger who means to do harm (4.3/5)
  2. Child being exposed to pornographic content (4.2/5)
  3. Child being exposed to violent content (3.7/5)
  4. Child being a victim of online bullying (3.5/5)
  5. Child bullying another child online (2.4/5)

Other interesting results from the study:

  • Metropolitan status: Urban parents tend to be more concerned than suburban or rural parents.
  • Education: College-educated parents exhibit lower levels of fear regarding stranger danger than parents with less education.
  • Income: Having a higher income is related to lower fears when it comes to exposure to pornography, being bullied or being a bully.
  • Political ideology: Parents of liberal persuasion are less concerned than moderates or conservatives about pornography, but more concerned about their child becoming a bully.
  • Gender/age of child: Parents of daughters and of younger children are more concerned than parents of sons when it comes to meeting a stranger and exposure to violent content.
  • Parents' gender/religion: A parent's gender or religious beliefs have little effect on levels of concern.

Socioeconomic status factors seemed to have some influence on parents' levels of concern, but they seemed less important when also taking into account race and ethnicity, the researchers said.

"Our study highlights how parental concern differs by demographic factors, notably race and ethnicity," boyd said. "This raises significant questions about policies intended to empower parents. Which parents -- and, in turn, which youth -- are being empowered by the interventions being developed?"


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. The original article was written by Erin White. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Minority parents fear for kids online." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121155035.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2013, November 21). Minority parents fear for kids online. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121155035.htm
Northwestern University. "Minority parents fear for kids online." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121155035.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins