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Title: Beyond Parental Control: Designing Adolescent Online Safety Apps Using Value Sensitive Design
Parental control applications are designed to help parents monitor their teens and protect them from online risks. Generally, parents are considered the primary stakeholders for these apps; therefore, the apps often emphasize increased parental control through restriction and monitoring. By taking a developmental perspective and a Value Sensitive Design approach, we explore the possibility of designing more youth-centric online safety features. We asked 39 undergraduate students in the United States to create design charrettes of parental control apps that would better represent teens as stakeholders. As emerging adults, students discussed the value tensions between teens and parents and designed features to reduce and balance these tensions. While they emphasized safety, the students also designed to improve parent-teen communication, teen autonomy and privacy, and parental support. Our research contributes to the adolescent online safety literature by presenting design ideas from emerging adults that depart from the traditional paradigm of parental control. We also make a pedagogical contribution by leveraging design charrettes as a classroom tool for engaging college students in the design of youth-centered apps. We discuss why features that support parent-teen cooperation, teen privacy, and autonomy may be more developmentally appropriate for adolescents than existing parental control app designs.
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Award ID(s):
1844881 1827700
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Journal of Adolescent Research
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
147 to 175
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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