Kaiser: Parents Vigilant About Kids' Web Habits

Concern about what they're exposed to on TV and online is propelling parents to keep a tighter rein on kids' media consumption than ever before, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported yesterday.

Some 65% of parents are closely monitoring their kids' media use, Kaiser found, in a study consisting of a random telephone survey of 1,008 U.S. parents of kids ages 2 to 17, as well as six parental focus groups.

Parents say they're paying particular attention to their kids' online activities.

Among the parents with kids 9 or older who use the Internet at home, nearly 75% say they know "a lot" about what their kids are doing online: 87% say they check their kids' instant messaging buddy lists; 82% review their kids' profiles on MySpace and other social networking sites; and 76% check to see what Web sites their kids have visited.

Four out of 10 of these parents say they use parental controls to block access to certain Web sites. And among the parents of kids who use e-mail, 39% say they read their child's email or look in their inbox.



Vicky Rideout, vice president and director of Kaiser's Program for the Study of Entertainment Media and Health, says she was surprised so many parents feel they have things under control.

"Three out of four parents think they know a lot about what their kids are doing on the Internet," she says. "Going into this, I thought parents would say they feel outgunned technologically. I'm encouraged by their confidence."

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