The Common Sense Census: Family Media and Technology Use

Project: Research project

Project Details


Recent research efforts, including the Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens (2015) and Zero to Eight (2013) have painted a comprehensive picture of media use by young people. However, we cannot understand fully understand modern American families without understanding their relationship with media, and the role that media play in families’ lives. Northwestern University released the Parenting in the Digital Age study (2013) to explore how parents of children birth to eight years old incorporate digital technologies into their family lives and parenting practices. However, given opportunities and concern around the use of technology in daily life, for communication, for entertainment, for learning, and for other purposes, the time is right for another survey of parents. A co-branded Common Sense Media/Northwestern University study could reveal many useful insights around the following topics: • Parents’ media habits and preferences • Parent concerns and stresses about media and technology • Parents’ support for, understanding of, and use of various media ratings systems (movies, video games, music, TV, web sites). • Parents’ views about the appropriateness of media content their kids use: TV, video games, music, online. • The extent to which parents monitor their children’s media use: types of rules regarding social media, homework and media, or time spent with media • Parents’ opinions about the quality of media available for kids and teens • Parental opinions about policy proposals on children and media, including child privacy or time- or content-limiting technology • Parents’ opinions about device dependence and distraction; impact of media on social interaction • Negotiating media use and managing conflicts
Effective start/end date1/21/166/30/17


  • Common Sense Media (Agmt 2/29/16)


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