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