Parents Like Internet Less, Regulate Teens’ Media Consumption

October 29, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Media & Entertainment | Television | Videogames | Youth & Gen X

Parents are engaged with their children’s media consumption – that is, they regulate it – and they have less-positive views of the internet today than they did in 2004, according to data issued by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Shortcuts to charts/tables referenced in this article:

  1. Attitudes of teenagers’ parents toward the internet
  2. How parents regulate teens’ media content, use time
  3. Gadget ownership within households with teens

Among the findings of the study (pdf):Some 59% of parents say the internet has been a good thing for their children, down from 67% in 2004, whereas those who say it has had no effect of have no opinion on the matter has gone up five point, from 25% to 30%.


Most parents check up on their teens’ internet use: 65% say that they check to see what websites their teenagers visit.

Even more parents have rules about media consumption (TV, internet, videogames): Two-thirds have some sort of rule about their teenage children’s media use.


Most parents also say digital technology makes their lives easier, but their children are even more positive: 88% of teens report that information and communication devices make their lives easier, compared with 69% of their parents.

Some 93% of youth are online and 94% of their parents are online. Overall, 87% of parents who have a child ages 12-17 use the internet, up from 80% in the 2004 survey.


Most parents (64%) and teens (60%) say they own two or three gadgets. Family members living in the same household also tend to own the same number of gadgets – but often not the same type of devices.

About the study: This report draws on the “Parents & Teens 2006 Survey” sponsored by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative call-back sample of 935 teens age 12-17 and their parents living in continental United States telephone households. The telephone sample was pulled from previous Pew Internet Project surveys fielded in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Households with a child age 18 or younger were called back and screened to find 12-17-year-olds. The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

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