, , and : Kindergarteners’ ICT Use at Home – Parental Role Modeling and Engagement

The expansion of information and communication technologies (ICT) has brought along an increase in the number of research focusing on the use and impact of ICT. Samples of these studies were mostly drawn from school-aged and older populations, so there is hardly any information on kindergarten aged children. More specifically, current data from large-scale studies on kindergarteners’ and their parents’ ICT use are not available. Therefore, the objectives of the present study were to examine (1) the ICT kindergarteners use at home, (2) the frequency of use and (3) screentime, and (4) the extent of parental engagement and control. In addition, we aimed at examining the relationship between parental education and children’s ICT use. Our findings show that the vast majority of kindergarteners grow up in a technologically rich household, and some of them have their own ICT. In this age group, the daily use of ICT is not prevalent, but parents’ responses have revealed that the children consume a very wide range of content on the internet. Parents’ responses also reflect the multiple-year-long debate about the perceived or real beneficial or harmful effects of devices, as some of the children do not use ICT at all, even though they have at least one gadget in every household. Our data have shown that the permission to use a child’s device and its duration and frequency is not, however, parental control is associated with parental education. Our results also point to the importance of parental role modeling, as the extent of children’s ICT use is related to the extent of the parents’ device use.

Keywords: ICT, kindergarteners, parents, screen time, content consumption, socioeconomic status

Year: 2019
Issue: 2
Page: 22-41