Parents are the primary agents in the socialization of their children. They guide their children about television viewing: what to see, what not to see and how much time they will spend with the TV. In such situations, children are viewed as passive recipients of parental influence. But conversely, do children also influence their parents’ media use?
Sara Nelissen, a doctoral candidate at the Leuven School for Mass Communication Research in Belgium, and Jan Van den Bulck, professor of communication at the University of Michigan, investigated whether children mediate the television use of their parents.
The researcher conducted a survey with 187 parent-child dyads using an internet questionnaire. Of the subsample of parents, around 73 percent were female. The parents had a mean age of 45.78 years. In the sample of children, around 56 percent were girls. These children had an average age of 14.89 year.
The authors found evidence that children also guide the television viewing of their parents. Television mediation and children’s restrictive mediation was positively associated with conflict in the family.
Families that reported more general conflict reported more television-related conflict. Also, the more children tried to restrict their parents’ television viewing, the more parent-child television conflict there was. This response that was found in both parent and child reports.
To read the full text of the study: https://bit.ly/2xGjwt6
Nelissen, S., & Van den Bulck, J. (2018). Expanding the Unidirectional View on Parental Television Mediation: Children’s Guidance of Their Parent’s Television Use. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 62(2), 232-250.