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Too young too digital: how Malaysian parents mediate their young children's internet and digital device use

Mohd Mahudin, Nor Diana and Janon, Nazariah Shar'ie (2021) Too young too digital: how Malaysian parents mediate their young children's internet and digital device use. Media Matters, 4. pp. 67-80.

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The way parents mediate their children’s online activities and use of digital devices can significantly impact the development of their children. This is especially true for young children under the age of six years, who are changing physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally, more rapidly than at any other phase in their lives. However, parental mediation practices and views related to technological devices and digital media use among young children have not been widely investigated in Malaysia. Drawing on the ecological techno-subsystem theory that underpins the study, we collected data from 340 dualworking parents who have children aged six years old and below. We assessed parent-child demographic characteristics, children’s Internet usage pattern, parental mediation strategies, and parental attitude towards the Internet and digital media usage. The results demonstrated that Internet and digital device use was high among young children, with the majority of them using the media several times a day or at least once a day. The older the children, the more frequent the usage, with boys exhibiting more frequent use compared to girls. Although the majority spent about one hour or less on digital devices, 88 children exceeded the maximum screen time recommendation. The results also highlighted that Malaysian parents use mediation strategies, with active mediation being the highest. Both mothers and fathers equally used all parental mediation strategies, and both boys and girls equally received parental mediation. Finally, our results confirmed that parents’ and children’s demographic characteristics and parents’ attitude towards the Internet and digital media effectively influenced the strategies that parents employed to mediate their children’s use of the Internet and digital devices. Building a framework for responsible use and digital competencies requires considerable effort from parents, policymakers, the industry, module developers, and the research community. Results obtained in this study could provide feedback to these stakeholders to inform the enactment of relevant policies and to improve current practices.

Item Type: Article (Journal)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Digital devices, Internet, parental attitude, parental mediation, young children
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF636 Applied psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF712 Developmental psychology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > HQ503 The family. Marriage. Home
T Technology > T Technology (General) > T55.4 Industrial engineering.Management engineering. > T58.5 Information technology
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences > Department of Psychology
Depositing User: Nor Diana Mohd Mahudin
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2022 12:47
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2022 12:47
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/96549

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