Parent versus Child Reports of Internet Behaviors and Support for Strategies to Prevent Negative Effects of Online Exposure
Sahara Byrne, Assistant Professor, Cornell University
Tuesday, December 15, 12:30 pm
Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor
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Strategies available to protect youth from potentially problematic online experiences may be met with considerable resistance. Young people may not be ready or willing to accept such interventions. These studies seek to identify specific internet risk prevention strategies to that are likely to be met with resistance from children and adolescents and makes advances toward predicting when parents and their children will disagree on appropriate strategies for their family. A nation-wide survey of 1812 parents with children who have access to the internet examines parental support for various strategies to protect their children from negative effects. Many of the strategies tested were drawn from the Final Report of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. A sub-sample of 456 children and adolescents indicated level of support and these data were matched with those of their parents. Strategies resulting in the least disagreement from children include those that empower the youth to protect themselves, as well as legal consequences or suspension from school for people who misbehave online. Analysis predicting disagreement revealed that certain characteristics of the child and parent, as well as the communicative relationship between the two, factor into the problem.
Sahara Byrne is investigating the deliberate disruption of mediated messages, a theoretical construct known as noise. Her work takes a developmental perspective. She examines why strategic messages are sometimes ineffective or result in the opposite effect than was intended. The research aims to explain why the ‘boomerang effect’ is likely to occur in response to many types of strategic messages, especially those that are pro-social such as health campaigns and efforts to prevent negative effects of the media on children. She received her B.F.A in Film and Television from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and her M.A. and Ph. D. in Communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara.