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Young Children (0-8) and Digital Technology
A qualitative study across Europe
EU Science Hub - The European Commission's science and knowledge service
The document reports on results of a cross-national analysis building on data coming from 234 family interviews with both children and parents, carried out from September 2014 until April 2017 in 21 countries. It exposes the key findings regarding first children’s usage, perceptions of the digital technologies and their digital skills in the home context but also on parents’ perceptions, attitudes, and strategies. Beside the cross-national analysis, a dedicated section provides contextualized snapshots of the study results at national level. It then takes a close up on 38 families in seven countries in which researchers came for a second interview distant of one year in which they focused on monitoring change of context, children and parents’ perceptions, attitudes, and strategies over time.
The study determines that parents see digital technologies as positive and unavoidable, if not necessary, but at the same time, find managing their use challenging. They perceive digital technologies as something that needs to be carefully regulated and controlled. They would appreciate advice on fostering children’s online skills and safety.
Conclusion reflect on the potential benefits, risks and consequences associated with their (online) interactions with digital technologies and provide recommendations to policymakers, industry, parents and carers.
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