Children's Online Opportunities and Risks across Europe
Cross-national Comparisons for EU Kids Online
by Hasebrink, U., Livingstone, S., Haddon, L. (2008)
In many countries, within and outside Europe, children and young people are gaining access to the Internet and online technologies at a rapid pace. As a Eurobarometer survey on Safer Internet issues showed (EC, 2006), half of all children under 18 years old in the EU25 have used the Internet, with even higher figures applying to teenagers. However, there are substantial differences across countries (ranging from less than a third of children in Greece and Bulgaria to over two thirds of those in Estonia and Denmark).
To understand what these changes mean for children and their families, for their education, leisure, participation and community and, more negatively, for the risk of harm to children and young people, this growing use of the Internet and online technologies is being closely tracked by empirical research. Research teams across Europe are conducting empirical studies of varying range and depth, in order to advise policy-makers how best to maximise the benefits and minimise the risks associated with the changing media environment.
The first part of this report compares findings from various European studies to address some key research questions and hypotheses. There are some general conclusions (i.e. cross-national similarities) which hold across the European countries examined. The second part considers factors that might help to explain the patterns that EU Kids Online found.
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Available on the website since September 18, 2008