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.

Related Articles


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 November 23, 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 November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 9 out of 10 excessive drinkers in the country are not alcohol dependent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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