Young children’s electronic media use and parental mediation

Merdin, Esra
Today’s children are born and raised in media-saturated environments, surrounded by televisions, computers, tablets, smartphones, and other portable electronic devices. Because these devices have become an indispensable part of everyday life, they have a significant influence on children’s entertainment and leisure, as well as their education. This study therefore examined how early and how much young children (from 0 to 6 years of age) use television, computers, and tablet/smartphones, specifically whether this media usage is directly affected by socio-demographic factors related to the children’s parents (i.e., their education, income, and age), the children themselves (i.e., their age, gender, and the presence and number of siblings), and the media environment in their homes (i.e., the availability of media, parental opinions about media, and regulation of media use). The sample for this study consisted of 412 parents of 0- to 6-year-old children who brought their children to the Social Pediatrics Department of the Faculty of Medicine in Ankara, Turkey, for developmental check-ups. The data for this study were collected through questionnaire that was prepared by the researcher. Statistical analyses were then conducted to evaluate the data. The results of the study show that today’s children start to use electronic media devices at an early age and use them more than expected. And in line with the focus of this study, factors that affect children’s media usage include demographics of both the children and their parents, their parents’ opinions about the effects of electronic media, and parental mediation when the children use media devices.