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[Survey of Media Use by Children and Parents] 3-5. Mothers' Media Awareness (2) Family Rules for Media Use


Regarding mothers' awareness of media, enquiries were made about family rules for using digital media. The results showed that mothers had a high degree of information moral awareness but concerns were expressed over fathers. Nevertheless, it was recognized that fathers did have a certain degree of information moral awareness. In addition, the older the age group the mothers were in, the higher the number of mothers who were concerned over media rules.

In Section 5, regarding mothers' awareness related to media, family rules when watching/using digital media (TV, Video/DVD, apps/software) will be discussed from the mother's/father's/grandparents' points of view.

Mothers' high information moral awareness

Figure 3-5-1 shows the selection rate of "true" and "somewhat true" from the results of asking mothers about family rules for media use with a 4-point rating scale (true/somewhat true/ not so true/not true at all).

The most enforced item in family's media rules was "I watch my manners in front of the children" (78.8%), indicating a high degree of information moral awareness as a mother. Next was "My spouse watches his manners in front of the children" (57.9%), showing they recognize the fathers' information moral awareness, but there were 41.0% of mothers who said "I am concerned over how my spouse shows children/lets children use them." Although it was a slightly lower number, 30.9% of mothers answered "I am concerned over how my parents and my in-laws show children/let children use them." This might be because the number of nuclear family households is on the increase, with children tending to have less contact with grandparents.

In addition, almost half (48.3%) answered "We discuss in our family whether the content watched and used by the children is suitable for their age or not," showing how they set rules at home focusing on children.


Figure 3-5-1 Family rules for media use

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Stricter rules in older age groups

Figure 3-5-2 shows the families' media rules shown in Figure 3-5-1 sorted by 3 generations, under 20s, 30s, and over 40s.

Mothers' own information moral awareness "I watch my manners in front of the children" was 68.5% in under 20s < 78.9% in 30s < 82.5% in over 40s, indicating that more than 80% of mothers in the over 40s group follow media rules.

Similarly, those who answered "My spouse watches his manners in front of the children" were 43.8% in under 20s < 59.3% in 30s < 59.6% in over 40s, those who answered "We discuss in our family whether the content watched and used by the children is suitable for their age or not" were 36.4% in under 20s < 48.3% in 30s < 53.2% in over 40s. This suggests the possibility of deeper mutual understanding in 30s and over 40s than in under 20s as there is usually a longer family history. The results to the item "I am concerned over how my spouse shows children/lets children use them" were, under 20s 36.7% < 30s 40.8% < over 40s 44.9%, showing that mothers in the over 40s group being stricter with their spouses might be reflecting the period of time spent as a family.

In this survey, in a separate question ("Do you recently feel the following things about childrearing?"), a 4-point rating scale ("quite often" "once in a while" "not much" "not at all") was used to ask about the item "I want my child to learn how to use digital media before starting school." The compiled result of "quite often" and "once in a while" was under 20s 22.3% > 30s 17.9% > over 40s 16.3%. The selection rate is low on the whole but younger age groups seem to have more interest in device operation of digital media.

Mothers in older age groups have higher information moral awareness for their children but do not feel there is a need for learning device operation.


Figure 3-5-2 Family rules for media use (by mothers' age groups)

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