04-04-2022 | Empirical Research
Parental Mediation and Adolescents’ Internet Use: The Moderating Role of Parenting Style
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Youth and Adolescence | Uitgave 8/2022Log in om toegang te krijgen
Internet use can be distinguished into different uses (e.g., leisure-related, learning-related), yet comprehensive studies on how different uses are associated with everyday parenting situations are still lacking. This study attempts to locate parental mediation within broader family contexts and simultaneously considers the relationships among general parenting style, media-specific parenting practices, and adolescents’ amount and types of Internet use. Building on survey data collected from 1284 middle school students in China (mean age = 13, SD = 0.79, 48.60% girls), the Latent Profile Analysis identified three child-perceived profiles of general parenting style: slight-engaged, supportive, and rejecting-controller. The subsequent regressions suggested that adolescents with supportive parents reported lower levels of time spent online as well as leisure-related use; more restrictive parental mediation was associated with reduced leisure-related use while more active mediation was associated with more learning-related use. Notably, associations between parental use of active mediation and youth’s amount of Internet use and leisure-related use varied based on parenting style profiles. Only for the supportive parenting profile, more use of active mediation was associated with decreased amount of Internet use as well as leisure-related use. These findings have implications on how parents can be more effective in guiding youth’s Internet use.