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Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2017 Jul 14. pii: /j/ijamh.ahead-of-print/ijamh-2016-0146/ijamh-2016-0146.xml. doi: 10.1515/ijamh-2016-0146. [Epub ahead of print]

Monitoring screen use: a qualitative exploration of family strategies in Swiss homes.


Background Digital technologies make family managing more complicated, as parents are worried about their children's well-being and want to protect them from excessive Internet use. Objective The objective of this study was to investigate both youths' and parents' views on strategies and rules set at home to regulate and monitor Internet use. Subjects Thirty-five adolescents (19 females), aged between 11 and 18 years, and 27 parents (17 mothers) from the French-speaking part of Switzerland participated in different focus groups. Methods Using a qualitative approach, results were analyzed using the grounded theory. Results Eight different mediation strategies emerged. One relevant finding is that rules regarding problematic content were never mentioned, while rules about screen time and location of use were numerous. This might indicate that parents are more worried about the time spent in front of the screen than about the actual activities their children engage in. Conclusions It could be recommended to parents to keep striving for an environment contributing to open discussion and exchange on Internet use, even if their digital literacy is lower than their youngsters' are.


Internet use; adolescents; parental mediation; parental rules; qualitative research


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