21 February 2010

Sahara Byrne: Parents, Kids and Online Safety

(John Palfrey)
Prof. Sahara Byrne, of the communications department at Cornell, studies responses to Internet safety techniques. She's interested in the "recipes for disaster," such as when parents love a given safety technique and kids hate it. She's a believer in psychological reactance theory: that when kids really don't like something, they're going to work hard to get around it. Her methods: an extensive Internet survey of 456 parents, with matched child pairs (10 - 17 years old). Asked parents how much they would support a particular tool and kids how they would feel if their parent adopted this strategy. Parents were asked more questions than the kids. A few of her findings from the matched pairs: - Surveillance of kids' online behavior by the technology/service provider is popular by parents and particularly disliked by kids. - User-child empowerment strategies were popular with both parents and kids. See video.