In brief: Slovakian findings from EU Kids Online 2020
Slovak children aged 9 to 17 access the internet mostly via smartphones – 72% do so daily. The main motive for using the internet is entertainment and social interaction, and internet use increases during the weekend. Fifty-six per cent of children aged 9 to 12 visit a social networking site at least once a week despite the general age limit for such use at 13 years, and only 20% of parents do not allow them to use a social networking site.
In addition, parents of children of this age group allow them to use instant messaging applications without them having to ask for permission (62%). Younger girls (aged 9 to 12) use social networking sites more often than boys, while there is no such gender difference in older children (aged 13 to 17). At the same time, frequent use of social networking sites in younger children is associated with a higher risk of experiencing something that bothers or upsets them.
As for other gender differences, it is girls rather than boys who find people on the internet kind and helpful, yet this attitude is not associated with negative experiences online. There are no significant gender differences regarding encountering harmful content. Experience with face-to-face meeting with a person only known from the internet (53%) is associated with sensation-seeking and emotional problems. After a face-to-face meeting with a person only known from the internet, 53% of the children reported feeling happy and 15% were upset.
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- Izrael, P., Holdoš, J., Ďurka, R., Hasák, M. (2020). EU Kids Online IV v Slovenskej republike. Slovenské deti a dospievajúci na internete: Správa z výskumu. Ružomberok: Katolícka univerzita v Ružomberku.
- Altogether, 21% of children aged 11 to 17 saw physical self-harm content, 10% saw suicide-related content and 26% encountered content promoting anorexia and bulimia. Exposure to harmful content is associated with children’s emotional problems, sensation-seeking, hyperactivity and conduct problems. Exposure to one type of harmful content also means exposure to other types. A little worrying is the finding that when children are bothered or upset by something online, 26% do not talk to anyone, and this percentage increases with age. Almost a fifth of parents think their child hasn’t had contact on the internet with someone the child has not met face-to-face before, although the child has had such an experience. A significant number of parents (40%) rarely or never apply active mediation. On the other hand, the use of active mediation is more frequent in families with a higher income and parents with a higher education.
Pavel Izrael, PhD., is a lecturer at the Department of Journalism, Faculty of Arts and Letters, Catholic University in Ružomberok (Slovakia). He addresses the issues of parental mediation, the inﬂuence of media on families, and media education. He co-authored a media education textbook for primary schools. From 2011 to 2013 he served as a deputy of research coordinator in research focused on socializing and desocializing impact of media on family environment. He has started and runs a website rodinaamedia.ku.sk focused on media education that targets parents and educators.
Juraj Holdoš, Ph.D. is a lecturer at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Letters, Catholic University in Ružomberok. His research interests focus on new media usage among young people, internet addiction and its possible treatment. He works also as a psychologist at university Consulting centre. Since 2013 he has been a coordinator of research project Internet addiction and type D personality (Social inhibition and negative affectivity in context of problematic Internet use in the population of university students.)
Jarmila Tomková, PhD. is a psychologist who worked at the Research Institute of Child Psychology and Pathopsychology leading research teams on topics of opportunities and risks of internet for children. She coordinated the Slovak team EU Kids Online. She designed and implemented and preventive programs, e.g. Students against Bullying - Preventive Peer-to-Peer Program. She is active as a lecturer and project manager in digiQ, o.z., which is aimed at prevention and education of safe internet use for children and their families, digital citizenship and responsibility for one’s own online behavior.
doc. Norbert Vrabec, PhD. is managing director of the Media Education Centre at the Faculty of Mass Media Communication, University of St .Cyril and Methodius, Slovakia. His research interests include youngsters and the media, the social impacts of digital technology and the methodology of media research. He coordinates several development projects in the field of media education.
doc. Dana Petranová, PhD is dean of the Faculty of Mass Media Communication, University of St .Cyril and Methodius, Slovakia. She is active in research activities, mainly in the sphere of media education; she participates in several projects in the field of media education. Her main research interests are media literacy, media effects and audience analysis.
Ján Hacek, PhD. has been working as an assistant professor at the Department of Journalism at the Faculty of Philosophy, Comenius University in Bratislava since 2011. He graduated at the Catholic University in Ružomberok. His research interests include parental mediation, children's internet use, the strategies of parental regulation of the internet in the Slovak households. He also leads couple of courses focused on media education and journalism at grammar and secondary schools.
The Slovak EU Kids Online team memebrs form an interdisciplinary network focused on children´s online safety, media education and media literacy, internet addiction and other Internet related topics. The team includes researchers from three universities: Catholic Univeristy in Ružomberok, University of SS. Cyril and Methodius, and Comenius University, as well as a former researcher from Research Institute for Child Psychology and Pathopsychology (VÚDPaP) in Bratislava. The team cooperates with an organization eSlovensko which stands behind Slovak Awareness Centre Zodpovedne.sk aimed at a wide scope of activities related with safer use of new online technologies.
Catholic Univesity, Hrabovska cesta 1a, 034 01, Ruzomberok, Slovak Republic