|dc.description.abstract||“Parental mediation up to 4 year old children usage of screen media”
Aim of this bachelor thesis was to investigate how parents describe screen media usage of their 4 year old children. Empirical material for this work was gathered from ten semi-structured in-depth interviews with parents who have at least one up to 4 year old child. This work examined parents’ opinions about the effects of screen mediums to their small child and parents understandings, about the importance of their own role between screen medium and the toddler. In this work author has examined television, computer, videogames, DVDs, VHS viewing and usage by children.
Most common screen medium amongst the children of participants are TV and also DVD-s. The analysis of interviews showed that children watch TV almost daily, viewing time is from 15 minutes to 3 hours. Children mainly watch shows specially designed for children, but there are some exceptions when children watch also shows created for older viewers.
Parents have not set exact rules when and what child can watch from TV, play videogames or use computer. Restrictions, which parent use, are situation based. Many parents brought up the importance of preventing violence viewing from screen, but at the same time parents do not watch commonly screen mediums together with their children, so it is not possible for them to be sure that child does not view any inappropriate content. Quite often parents seem to be assuming the program suitability for child. This assumption seems to be based on the channel, which child is viewing.
Although all the participants have at least one computer in their home, less than half the children are using computers. What was surprising about the result is that children seem to be using computers under very little parental supervision. Parents allow their children to certain websites, where child is allowed to operate on its own.
Mostly parents do not see different screen mediums as a channel from which their child could learn. Parents look at TV and other mediums mostly as entertainment for child, something for the child to do when parents themselves for example do not have time for their children. Results also show that parents do not usually talk about what child has viewed from screen. Neither do parents check how children understand the programs watched.
Results of this study indicate that children screen medium usage is supervised in some ways by parents, but the parental mediation is not sufficient. Parents do not seem to value importance of co-viewing and positive effect of discussion over programs. Parents see screen mediums mostly as a channel of entertainment and not as a potential source which could have positive effects for child