Background. The ubiquity of ICTs, the decrease in the age at which digital devices began to be used, the sensitivity of the periods of preschool and primary school age, the extremely high importance of parental position regarding the use of digital devices by young children, with insufficient scientific development of this problem, necessitates obtaining and analyzing empirical data on the use of digital technologies in Russian families with preschool- and primary school- aged children.
Objective. Investigation of the ICTs usage in families with children of preschool (5-7 years old) and primary school (8-11 years old) age.
Design. The at-home study (N=100 parental-child dyads) consisted of a semi-structured interview for preschoolers and questionnaires for primary school aged children and parents of both age groups. It included questions about the level of user activity, digital initiation and culture, digital competency, parental mediation, online risks, psychological well-being and parent-child relationships .
Results. On weekdays, two-thirds (62-64%) of children aged 5–11 spend max. 1 hour on the Internet, and the rest of them spend max. 3 hours. On weekends, 48% of children of 5–11 years old spend online 1–3 hours, with 8% of preschool children and 18% of primary school children spending >3 hours. 5–7 aged children mostly use tablets, while 7–11 olders prefer smartphones. In both age groups, the leading form of digital activity is watching cartoons and videos. Children’s digital games evolve from interest in interacting with objects to preference for role-playing games. 7–1 aged kids begin to explore social networks, and use the Internet for study. 46% of 5–7 year children (46%), and 60% of 8–11 aged children have encountered online risks. Technical and content risks (pop-up banners and videos, frightening and pornographic content, viruses) prevail. 12% of primary school students encounter communication risks as well.
Most parents of preschoolers (70%) choose a strategy of being nearby their child using the Internet. In families with 8–11 aged children, adults are more tend to purposefully educate their child to use online technologies. A third of all adults surveyed admit to being insecure in the issue of online safety.
Available Online: 12/31/2019
In contemporary world, the digital competence of adolescents is not a separate property or capacity any longer, becoming the prerequisite and basis for many types of activities, and the Internet has become a space mediating socialization of children. Russian population study indicated that there is a «gap» in the structure of motivation to improve digital competence: although every four teenagers from five ones declare preparedness for its development, their motivation in relation to specific goals and objectives is extremely low and does not exceed 20 per cent of the maximum possible level. The paper assumes that the «gap» is caused by different contents of general and specific motivation: general motivation describes great awareness of the importance and the declared preparedness, while specific motivation refers to the setting of specific goals. Applying the Digital Competence Index (DCI) in the samples of adolescents 12-17 years old (N=1203) and of parents of adolescents of the same age (N=1208) the relationship between general and specific motivation to improve digital competences and their links to the user’s activity, confidence, emotions, self-image on the Internet and its familiarization are considered. A high level of digital competence and excessive self-confidence in the user’s skills are associated with a less general motivation. A higher level of general and specific motivation is related to the participation of teachers and parents in the development of adolescent skills in the Internet. This extremely low self-confidence and the solution of any online problems by parents are associated with passive motivation, e.g. the desire to explore the Internet spontaneously through other people. Possible methods of developing active motivation to improve digital competence and the prevention of excessive confidence in adolescents are discussed
The paper researches the possibilities and limitations of coping behaviour in children and adolescents on the Internet and the assistance of significant adults (parental mediation) in the context of the new social situation of development mediated by modern information and communication technologies, in particular, by the Internet. The study based on the EUKidsOnline II project was conducted in 11 regions of 7 federal districts of Russia (1025 “parent-child” pairs).
According to the research results the most common risks include dealing with negative sexual content, fraud and identity theft, meetings with online friends. Features of experiences and coping with risks online depend on the adolescent dominating activity on the web: those focused on their studies are less exposed to the risks mentioned, whereas their feelings are deeper and more enduring, they more frequently seek solutions using passive strategies. Those who fall into “content consumers” category are most exposed to the risk of coming across sexual content on the web as actively use various Internet resources including search engines. They experience fewer negative emotions, more frequently they actively seek to solve the problem almost without offline support.
The opportunity of parental mediation at the present moment is rather insignificant: a strategy of prohibitions associated with reduction of collision risks especially for research of teenagers; while the strategy of positive reinforcement and explanation is used effectively with adolescents doing various things on the Internet, it can be associated with a more realistic risk assessment and child using active coping strategies and social support. According to the data received the Internet could be considered as a complex psychological “instrument” that is internalizing by the child in his/her development. This internalization process determines his/her activities and self-regulation including his/her aptitude to coping with difficult life situations.