|Parental mediation in pandemic: Predictors and relationship with children's digital skills and time spent online in Ireland.|
Sciacca B, Laffan DA, O'Higgins Norman J, Milosevic T.
Computers in human behavior. 2022; 127(): 107081
During the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing reliance on digital technology to carry out social, entertainment, work and school activities increased, which may have affected the ways in which parents mediated their children's digital technology use. Given the prominent role that digital technology will have in the future, it is important to investigate parent and child characteristics which impacted parental mediation of children's digital technology use. Therefore, the present study aimed at analysing the frequency of parental mediation strategies (i.e. active and restrictive) during lockdown, their determinants, and how the two strategies affected children's digital skills and time spent online. Data were collected from 461 parent and 461 child participants. Results showed that almost half of parents (46%) practiced parental mediation with the same frequency, while the 42.6% applied it more often. Active mediation was predicted by parental worries about online risks, while restrictive mediation was predicted by time spent online by children, parental worries about online risks, parental negative attitudes towards digital technology and parents' digital skills. Children developed more digital skills when their parents applied higher levels of both active and restrictive mediation, and they spent the lowest amount of time online when their parents employed higher levels of restrictive and lower levels of active mediation. Practical implications for families and children's wellbeing are discussed. CI - (c) 2021 The Authors.