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 an associate professor 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 2017 to 2019 he served as a principal researcher in research project „Media practices and media literacy of children in early childhood and children at younger school age“. He has started and runs a website rodinaamedia.ku.sk focused on media education that targets parents and educators.
Juraj Holdoš, Ph.D. is an assistant professor 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 the University Consulting Centre. Since 2013 he has been coordinating a research project on internet addiction and type D personality (Social Inhibition and Negative Affectivity in Context of Problematic Internet use in the Population of University Students.)
Katarina Kohutova, PhD. is an assistant Professor at the Department of Social Work of the Catholic University in Ružomberok. She studied undergraduate studies in psychology at Palacký University in Olomouc, and postgraduate social work at the Catholic University in Ružomberok. Her research focuses on behavior of children and adolescents, attachment, burnout syndrome in helping professions and its correlates, the application of statistical methods in social and pedagogical research. She is a co-author of the website estatistika.ku.sk, which focuses on the issue of statistical data processing in IBM SPSS and Microsoft Excel.
Angela Almašiová, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at the Department of Social Work, Faculty of Education, Catholic University in Ružomberok. Her research interest is in lifestyle of young people, specifically in association with various types of risky behaviour such as substance abuse, excessive internet use, etc. She participates as a co-researcher in several domestic and foreign grants in this area
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.
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.
Department of Journalism
Faculty of Arts and Letters
Catholic University in Ružomberok