Parental Monitoring and Children's Internet Use: The Role of Information, Control, and Cues

66 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2017

See all articles by Francisco A. Gallego

Francisco A. Gallego

Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile

Ofer Malamud

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Cristian Pop-Eleches

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA)

Date Written: October 2017

Abstract

This paper explores how parental information and control can influence children’s internet use in Chile. We designed and implemented a set of randomized interventions whereby approximately 7700 parents were sent weekly SMSs messages with (i) specific information about their children’s internet use, and/or (ii) encouragement and assistance with the installation of parental control software. We separate the informational content from the cue associated with SMS messages and vary the strength of the cues by randomly assigning whether parents received messages in a predictable or unpredictable fashion. Our analysis yields three main findings. First, we find that messages providing parents with specific information affects parental behavior and reduces children’s internet use by 6-10 percent. Second, we do not find significant impacts from helping parents directly control their children’s internet access with parental control software. Third, the strength of the cue associated with receiving a message has a significant impact on internet use.

Suggested Citation

Gallego, Francisco A. and Malamud, Ofer and Pop-Eleches, Cristian (Kiki), Parental Monitoring and Children's Internet Use: The Role of Information, Control, and Cues (October 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23982. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3061674

Francisco A. Gallego (Contact Author)

Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile ( email )

Casilla 76
Correo 17
Santiago
Chile

HOME PAGE: http://www.economia.puc.cl/fgallego

Ofer Malamud

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Cristian (Kiki) Pop-Eleches

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.columbia.edu/~cp2124

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