In brief: Croatian findings from EU Kids Online 2020

The survey included 1,017 children aged 9 to 17 and their parents, with the participation of a parent who was more familiar with the digital habits of their children; 78.4% of the parent participants were mothers. More than three-quarters of children use the internet every weekday. Children, as well as their parents, mostly access the internet via a mobile phone or smartphone. Children spend more time ‘hanging out’ and having fun with their friends face-to-face rather than via online activities. The results show that most of the children aged 9 to 17 use the internet at least once a week for educational purposes both at school and at home.

Some parents are not very familiar with their children’s online activities. Almost every fifth child between the ages of 9 and 17 points out that their parents ‘never’ or ‘almost never’ talk to them about what they do on the internet. This is not surprising given that two-thirds of parents think that children are more proficient than them in using new technologies. Parents talk more often with younger children about online activities. When it comes to monitoring internet usage, parents most often check websites their child has visited, their messages on email or other applications, and view their profiles on social networks. Children who have troublesome experiences on the internet are more likely to ignore advice from their parents. In addition to rarely receiving parental support for internet usage, the research shows that they also rarely get support from teachers. Older children are more likely to be supported by teachers in using the internet than younger children.


  • Almost every third child between the ages of 9 and 17 communicated online with someone they did not go on to meet in person. There are more boys (34%) than girls (27%) among this group, with 50% in the 15–17 age group. Only 13% of the parents knew that their child had had contact with a person on the internet they had not had face-to-face contact with before; 14% met offline with a person they had met online. This increases with age, so in this group the majority are children aged 15 to 17 (27%), then children aged from 12 to 14 (12%), and finally, 3% of the youngest children (aged 9 to 11).
  • Thirty per cent of children aged 9 to 17 have seen sexual content online. Among them, over two-thirds have seen sexual photos or films with nudity on the internet in the past year, despite having no intention of seeing such content, while almost a fifth have seen such content intentionally. 
  • Croatian national report: Ciboci, L., Ćosić Pregrad, I., Kanižaj, I., Potočnik, D. & Vinković, D. (2020). Nacionalno istraživanje sigurnosti djece i mladih na internetu – HR Kids Online. Zagreb: Društvo za komunikacijsku i medijsku kulturu.


Ciboci, L., Ćosić Pregrad, I., Kanižaj, I., Potočnik, D. & Vinković, D. (2020). Nacionalno istraživanje sigurnosti djece i mladih na internetu – HR Kids Online. Zagreb: Društvo za komunikacijsku i medijsku kulturu.

Ćosić, I. (2005). Results presentation on research into the experience of children who use the Internet; Regional conference „Dangers of paedophilia", Human rights office, Zagreb.

Potočnik, D. (2006) Possessing and Usage of Informational and Communicational Technology, in: Youth between Wishes and Opportunities. Zagreb: Zagreb County and Institute for Social Research.

Potočnik, D. (2007) Youth and New Technologies, in: Ilišin, V.; Radin, F. (ed.) Youth: a Problem or a Resource. Zagreb: Institute for Social Research.

Profaca, B., Ćosić, I. (2005) Child and Internet Risks. List of topics for class lessons (ed. Bilić, V.), Naklada Ljevak, Zagreb




Lana Ciboci, PhD, is a vice dean for scientific affairs and quality management at Edward Bernays University College. She lectures at the Faculty of Teacher Education (University of Zagreb), Centre for Croatian Studies (University of Zagreb) and Edward Bernays University College. She is a vice president of the Association for Communication and Media Culture within which the Children of the Media project was implemented. The project won the Special Jury Prize as part of the Evens Foundation’s 2017 Media Literacy Prize. She is a coordinator of Croatian team of EU Kids Online. Lana is one of the authors of the first public opinion study on media literacy in Croatia and editor-in-chief of the scientific journal Communication Management Review. She is the author of several scientific papers about children and the media with an emphasis on media literacy. Scientific interests: children and media, media literacy, media and violence

Igor Kanizaj

Igor Kanižaj, Ph.D. is Associate Professor at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Political Science, Department of Journalism and Media Production. He is also Vice president of the Association for Communication and Media Culture (DKMK). Together with his associates he is coordinating the project Djeca medija, the biggest media education project in Croatia with more than 1000 workshops held for 25.000 participants in Croatia from 2011. This project was awarded the Evens Foundation Special Jury Prize for media education in 2017. He is the co-author of the first public opinion research on Media Literacy in Croatia and co-author of Paris Declaration on Media and Information Literacy (UNESCO). He worked also as journalist and expert for public awareness campaigns. He is member of the Council for Children of the Republic of Croatia.

Ivana Cosic Pregrad

Ivana Ćosić Pregrad graduated psychology in Department of Psychology, University of Zagreb in 2002. She has worked as clinical psychologist with children and their families in health system for more than 10 years. Today Ivana works as clinical psychologist in her own clinical practice. Her professional interest focuses on issues of child trauma, child abuse and neglect and support in recovery process. Ivana has run a number of education programms for experts who work with children and youth on issuses of child abuse and trauma, partenting and internet safety for children. In 2008. Ivana  collaborated on developing school program for prevention of cyberbulling named „Brake the chain“ supported by UNICEF Croatia..

Dunja Potocnik

Dunja Potočnik, PhD is a Higher Research Associate at the Institute for Social Research in Zagreb, at the Centre for Youth and Gender Studies, since 2003. She is a co-author of four books and an author of around 70 scientific and policy papers, a majority of which concern employment, education, migrations, digitalisation, youth work, social structure and intergenerational mobility. Her research and policy expertise, based on both quantitative and qualitative research methodology, has been developed through cooperation with national and international governmental and non-governmental organisations. She is a member of the Pool of the European Youth Researchers at the Youth Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe since 2010.

Dejan Vinkovic

Dejan Vinković received his PhD in astrophysics from the University of Kentucky and then worked at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. After that he became a professor at the University of Split, Croatia. Several years ago he moved to the private sector – he is the Chief Science Officer at an aeronautical startup, he co-founded a data analytics company in the UK and he is the founder of a non-profit research institute in Croatia. As a scientist he published his work in top academic journals (like Nature, PNAS, PLOS, etc.) and he was the lead proposers and the chair of the COST Action on the Big Data in Earth observation and astronomy with 28 participating countries. Over the years he has been also very active in promoting science to youth.


Association for Communication and Media Culture, Zagreb, Croatia