Do You Know What Your Kids are Doing on MySpace? It’s Not as Scary as You’ve Heard and You CAN Keep Them Safe
In this sudy, three important questions were studied: (1) How prevalent are Internet and MySpace dangers? (2) How aware are parents about what their children and adolescents are doing on MySpace, and (3) What role does parenting play in the online experiences of children?
In this study 1,091 pre-teens and teens that are on MySpace as well as one of their parents were interviewed. The study was designed by inviting a variety of parent-teen pairs to go to an online, anonymous survey website. First the parent, in the privacy of his or her home, answered a series of questions about (1) personal Internet and MySpace experience; (2) their beliefs about what their children are doing online; (3) their understanding of the threats of sexual predators, cyberbullies, pornography, Internet addiction and other highly publicized MySpace fears; (4) their parenting style; and (5) how they monitored and limited their child's use of MySpace and other technologies. The fact that they were answering these questions without providing any identifying information led to extremely honest, and often blunt answers and admissions.
This study is the first of its kind to anonymously interview parents and teens and allow them to speak their minds without worrying about anyone knowing their "business." We continue to follow this model for research using anonymous websites to collect data on important, sensitive social issues.
Reprinted with the permission of Dr. Larry D. Rosen. © 1997-2008 Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D.
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