Publication Peter Nikken and Sanne Opree on children’s media use and parental mediation

ERMeCC Children’s media use and parental mediation

Prof. dr. Peter Nikken and Dr. Suzanna (Sanne) Opree have recently published their article on young children’s digital media use in the Journal of Child and Family Studies. The purpose of the study was to examine to what extent parents have concerns about their children’s daily media use and how easy or difficult it is for parents to apply mediation to their children. The research findings are based on a survey among 1029 parents of children aged between 1 and 9 years old and are related to parents’ media restriction methods, parents’ mediation concerns, and adoption of new media technologies. The Journal of Child and Family Studies focuses on topical issues related to the mental well-being of children, adolescents, and their families.





"Previous research about parents’ mediation of their young children’s (digital) media use has predominantly focused on the different types, determinants, and effectiveness of parental mediation strategies. Although research on parents’ perceived mediation concerns and competences is scarce, it is known that, compared to mothers and high-educated parents, fathers and low-educated parents experience greater insecurity (i.e., higher concern and lower competence) when applying media mediation. Based on Bourdieu’s theory of social capital it may be expected that—in addition to educational level—marital status and family income predict parents’ perceived mediation concerns and competences: Family demographics may predict parents’ media proficiency and adoption of new media technologies and these media ecological factors may, in turn, affect perceived concerns and competences. To test this assumption, survey data were collected among 1029 parents of children between the ages of 1 to 9 years. We found that parents’ basic media proficiency was lower in low income, low educated, and single-parent families, whereas parents’ advanced media proficiency was only lower in low educated and single-parent families. As expected, parents’ ease of active co-use was positively associated with parents’ basic proficiency, ease of restrictive mediation by basic and advanced proficiency, and ease of imposing technical restrictions by advanced media proficiency. Parents’ perceived mediation concerns were, however, unrelated to parents’ media proficiency. Also, as expected, low educated parents were less inclined to adopt new media technologies. Adoption of new media was negatively related to perceived mediation concerns, yet did not predict parents’ perceived competence."

The article is openly accessible on Springer Link.

Prof. dr. Peter Nikken

Peter Nikken is Professor on Parental Mediation in the Department of Media and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam. His research interests focuses on the intermediate role of parents and professional educators for children’s media use. More specifically, he looks at how parents experience the presence of media in the child’s environment and how their parenting strategies at home are related to the child’s development. Moreover, he also looks at how the media-industry’s output may raise more problems in parenting or help parents in their mediation practices. You can find more information about Prof. dr. Peter Nikken on his people page.

Dr. Suzanna Opree

Suzanna (Sanne) Opree is an Assistant Professor of Quantitative Research Methods in the Department of Media and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Sanne’s research line, “The good(s) life”, focuses on the effect of advertising and commercial media on youth’s materialism and well-being. Sanne has published refereed articles in journals such as Communication Research, Media Psychology, and Pediatrics. Her work has been recognized with best paper awards at the 2012 Child and Teen Consumption (CTC) and 2014 International Communication Association (ICA) conferences. Sanne’s teaching interests include quantitative and qualitative research methods, advertising and marketing, and consumer culture theory. You can find more information about Dr. Suzanna Opree on her people page.