Learning from or Leaning On? The Impact of Children on Internet Use by Adults
37 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2017
Date Written: August 14, 2017
Scholars have observed that children can promote Internet adoption among adults by positively influencing skills acquisition. However, it is also possible that children reduce online engagement by adults, who may lean on them to act as proxy users. Both processes have been theorized, but the net result of these opposite effects has not been empirically tested. This study provides such as test, sourcing data from large-scale surveys in six Latin American countries. The results indicate that the presence of children is negatively correlated with Internet use by adults. This suggests that the intergenerational transfer of ICT skills from children to adults is outweighed by leaning effects whereby parents rely on children to perform online tasks for them, ultimately discouraging engagement.
Keywords: Internet Adoption; Children; Latin America; Digital Inequality; Propensity Score Matching
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