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.
Just-in-Time Parenting: A Two Month Examination of the Bi-directional Influences Between Parental Mediation and Adolescent Online Risk Exposure
Parental mediation is a key factor that influences adolescents’ exposure to online risk. Yet, research on this topic has mostly been cross-sectional and correlative, not exploring whether the relationship between parental mediation and adolescent online risk exposure could be bi-directional, where teens’ risk exposure influences parenting practices. To address this gap, we conducted an eight week, repeated measures web-based diary study with 68 adolescents (aged 13–17) and their parents to examine the relationships between three parental mediation strategies (active mediation, monitoring, and restriction) and three adolescent online risk types (explicit content, sexual solicitations, and online harassment) teens reported encountering online.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCII 2021)
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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