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Child Safety Software in Everyday Parenting: Acceptance and Use of Technical Tools in Parents’ Media Education

Child Safety Software in Everyday Parenting: Acceptance and Use of Technical Tools in Parents’ Media Education

Most parents, in fact, know about software for youth protection but that relatively few of them use it – so far the results of the former qualitative studies carried out by the Hans-Bredow-Institut. These studies revealed why parents use youth protection software but they did not focus on the question why parents do not use technical aids. Marcel Rechlitz and Claudia Lampert pursued this question in a qualitative study, funded by the Bundesfamilienministerium [Federal Ministry for Families]. To answer this question, they interviewed 40 parents who have children aged six to sixteen about their media education, the media usage of their children, their attitude towards youth media protection as well as the use of software solutions.

The findings of this study show that the parents can very well imagine using technical programmes but decide against it for pedagogic, technical or media-related reasons.  Some parents want to base their media education rather on trust than on control. Other parents do not feel very confident with the requirements of the programmes or do not know enough about the technical possibilities and concrete software products.
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Project Description

The study was part of the project “Youth Media Protection and Media Education in Digital Media Environments”, funded by the Bundesministerium für Familien, Senioren, Frauen und Jugen (BMFSFJ) [Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth [Germany]. 40 guided interviews with parents of children aged six to sixteen were conducted in the period between March and April 2014. The interviews were analysed by using the analysis software MAXQDA11.

The focus of this study lied in the more detailed reconstruction of the grounds against the use of technical instruments for youth media protection on computers or other online-capable devices. A qualitative study involving 40 families with children aged six to sixteen links to these findings and seeks to offer insight into where, from a parental viewpoint, the practical obstacles lie in integrating the measures for technical youth media protection in families’ everyday life. We are also tackling the question as to the parents’ attitude towards youth media protection and the use of software solution. The findings of the study provide answers to the questions of what parents think of youth media protection software, what expectations they have, why they oppose using the software and how they integrate it in their family’s everyday life.

The findings are documented in the series “Working Papers of the Hans-Bredow-Institut” (Arbeitspapiere des Hans-Bredow-Instituts), no. 33. http://www.hans-bredow-institut.de/webfm_send/1107

You can find further information in this summary: "Youth Protection Software in Everyday Education. Results of a Qualitative Study on the Use of Technical Aids in Parental Media Education"

Project Information


Duration: 2013-2014

Research programme:
RP3 - Knowledge for the Media Society

Cooperation Partner

Contact person

Dr. Claudia Lampert
Senior Researcher Media Socialisation & Health Communication

Dr. Claudia Lampert

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17 - 92
Fax +49 (0)40 45 02 17 - 77

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