New European study on children and the internet in 19 countries
The report, published on Safer Internet Day, also shows how time spent online varies between about two hours per day (Switzerland) and three-and-a-half hours (Norway). The new report, EU Kids Online 2020: Survey results from 19 countries, maps the risks and opportunities of the internet for children in Europe. Teams from the EU Kids Online network collaborated between autumn 2017 and summer 2019 to conduct a major survey of 25,101 children in 19 European countries.
Some risks are seen as both positive and negative
This pan-European survey mapped the online experiences of children aged 9–16, including cyberbullying, seeing harmful content, data misuse, excessive internet use, sexting and meeting unknown people from the internet. Researchers argue that online activities cannot be conclusively defined as generally positive or generally negative; rather, the same activity can have positive consequences for one child and negative for the other. One such example is meeting people children know from the internet. Between 5% (France) and 25% (Serbia) of the children met with someone they had only known online before. For the majority of these, meeting new people was positive and exciting. Between 52% (Slovakia) and 86% (Romania) of the children who met with someone they knew online said that they were happy after such a meeting. On the other hand, for others such an experience could cause distress and potential harm. In most of the countries, less than 5% of those going to such a meeting were fairly or very upset.
Lack of help from teachers and professionals
Between 7% (Slovakia) to 45% (Malta) of the children report they have been bothered or upset by something online in the last year. Out of these, most said it had happened only sporadically, just a few times a year. When asked about how they coped with the negative experience, they most often told a parent or friend or both, but rarely told a teacher or professional whose job it is to help them. In addition, between one in ten and one in four children say that they never or hardly ever receive online safety advice from parents, teachers or friends.
Most Russian teenagers use smartphones to daily access the internet (78% of children aged 12-14 and 87% of children aged 15-16). Russian teenagers are one of the most active Internet users among European children: on average, children aged 12-14 spend 3.5 hours a day, and children aged 15-16 spend 4.6 hours. Russian teenagers, along with those from Serbia and the Czech Republic, use social networks the most – 86% of children aged 12-14-year-olds and 92% of children aged 15-16. Russia, along with Flanders, Spain and Lithuania, is also included in the list of countries where teenagers actively use the internet for schoolwork – 51% of adolescents aged 12-14 and 64% of older adolescents. Russian teenagers received scores similar to most Europeans in digital skills. Only a quarter (26%) reported confident information-navigation skills, and less than half of children (45%) reported good social skills. Among Russian teenagers, as well as teenagers from Flanders and Malta, the highest rates of negative online experience were obtained, almost every second child reported such an experience over the past year (47% of adolescents aged 12-14 and 52% of older adolescents). However, about half of adolescents reported that they almost constantly feel safe online (56% of adolescents aged 12-14 and 53% of older adolescents) and find people kind and helpful on the internet (48% and 42%, respectively).
In Russia, the study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation (project No 18-18-00365). The Russian report is in the process and will be announced soon.
For more information
The report EU Kids Online 2020: Survey results from 19 countries updates and deepens the understanding of the online lives of children today, and how this differs across Europe.
The full report is available at http://www.lse.ac.uk/media-and-communications/assets/documents/research/eu-kids-online/reports/EU-Kids-Online-2020-10Feb2020.pdf
Information about the project and survey
EU Kids Online is a multinational research network. It seeks to enhance knowledge of European children’s online opportunities, risks and safety. It uses multiple methods to map children’s and parents’ experiences of the internet, in dialogue with national and European policy stakeholders. EU Kids Online is established as the primary source of high-quality, independent and comprehensive evidence underpinning a better and safer internet for children in Europe. Now working in more than 30 countries, the network integrates research expertise across multiple disciplines and methods. It has built constructive relationships with governments, media, industry, policy-makers, educators and practitioners at national, European and international levels. Its findings and reports are widely referred to in policy statements, having guided numerous initiatives to improve children’s online experiences.
For more information on the Russia team in EU Kids Online, refer to http://www.lse.ac.uk/media-and-communications/research/research-projects/eu-kids-online/participating-countries/russian-federation
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