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Family dynamics and Internet use in Britain: What role do children play in adults' engagement with the Internet?

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The importance of considering the family context in the adoption and use of the Internet are well recognised. Supporters of the digital inclusion agenda often see children as a way to increase the digital skills and use of the Internet by parents and older adults. However, there is a limited amount of research that has explored whether this is really the case. Using two nationally representative survey data sets from Britain, this paper aims to better understand the links between children and adults' use of the Internet within the same household. In this paper, we ask what influence children have on adults' Internet use, skills and engagement. The paper concludes that while children might influence uptake, characteristics of the adult (for example. education, age and social capital) are more important in relation to their skills and engagement with the Internet.
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Keywords: Internet use; children; digital inclusion; families; parents; young people

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK 2: Media and Communications Department at LSE, London, UK

Publication date: February 1, 2015

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