Study: Digital Generation Gap Between Parents and Kids
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2012 Nov 14
A newly released study (The Online Generation Gap: Contrasting attitudes and behaviors of parents and teens) conducted by Hart Research Associates for the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) found a “generation gap” between what parents think they know about their kids online behavior and what the kids think their parents know.
Ninety-one percent of parents say they are “well informed about what their kids are doing online and on their cell phones,” but when you ask teens, only 62% say their parents are well informed (21%) or somewhat well informed (41%).
When it comes to Twitter, the study found 38% of parents say they are “well informed” about their teen’s use of the service, compared to 14% of teens who think their parents are well informed That a 24% gap. There’s an 18 point gap for Facebook and a 14% gap for Pinterest when it comes to how well informed parents think they are compared to what their kids think.
The study found that 84% of parents report that they monitor their teens’ usage very (31%) or fairly (53%) closely, compared to 39% of teens who say their parents monitor them very (11%) or somewhat (28%) closely, which represents a 45-percentage-point gap between parent and teen perceptions. There are some interesting differences based on age and whether kids live in a one or two parent household. Younger teens (13-15) are considerably more likely (45%) to say they’re very or somewhat closely monitored compared to 27% of 16-17 year-olds. Teens who live in households with two parents are more likely (41%) to say they’re monitored than those who live in single-parent households (31%).
Nintety-five percent of teens say they feel very (37%) or somewhat (58%) safe online, and on this parents agree. Ninety-four percent of parents say they feel their teen is very (36%) or somewhat (58%) safe online. Only 5% of teens and 6% of parents say they feel unsafe.