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Exploring Parental Mediation of Elementary School-Aged Children’s Gadget Use

Octaviani Catherine, Weny Savitri S. Pandia, Debri Pristinella
Published November 2017

Abstract

This study aimed to explore how Indonesian parents managed their elementary school-aged children’s (aged 6 - 12) use of smartphone and tablet. A qualitative method was used in this study by interviewing three mothers who allow their children using smartphone and tablet for at least two to three times a week, with a duration at least thirty minutes per used. The results were analyzed using content analysis technique. To increase the validity of data, this study also did triangulation to participant’s children and significant others. This study found that all three mothers combined some types of parental mediation to managed their children’s gadget use. Active mediation was used, due to improved cognitive ability of elementary school-aged children. However, all mothers faced the same issue when explaining and discussing sexual contents to their children. Mother’s perception toward children’s low self-control also caused all mothers to use restrictive mediation. Technical restrictions was rarely used because some parents had low technology skills. Inconsistency in parental mediation practice might occur when parents entrusted their children with extended family members. Father also tend to loose the rules which set by the mother and hampered the effectiveness of parental mediation. Keywords: parental mediation, gadget, elementary school-aged children, Indonesian family parenting, digital technology

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