FSD2719 Children's Media Barometer 2011

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  • Hirvonen, Riikka (Finnish Society on Media Education)
  • Pääjärvi, Saara (Finnish Society on Media Education)
  • Rahja, Rauna (Finnish Society on Media Education)
  • Suoninen, Annika (Finnish Society on Media Education)


internet, mass communication, mass media exposure, mass media use, media literacy, news, parental role, reading (activity), schoolchildren, television viewing


The survey focused on media use and experiences of media education of children aged 7 - 11 in Finland.

Media devices in the respondents' room or elsewhere at home and amount of television, videos or other recorded programmes watched were investigated. Some questions covered habits of playing video games (online, on pc or game console), frequency of Internet use, reading habits and how often an adult read to the respondents. The respondents were asked how often they read comics, newspapers and magazines and listened to radio and music from other sources (CD, mp3 etc). Internet use was examined with questions focusing on the use of different websites and services online (e.g. search engines, social media, email) and the extent to which they agreed with some statements about Internet use (e.g. "using social media is important in order to keep up with what happens in one's group of friends", "I often have arguments over Internet use with my parents")

The respondents were asked whether they had rules at home for using the Internet, playing video games or watching television, DVDs etc, whether the rules were appropriate, whether they were allowed to watch some material or play some games with older siblings and whether there were any parental controls at home. Further questions covered the respondents' assigned bedtimes and whether they had been punished for misbehaviour by forbidding the use of media devices.

One theme pertained to whether the respondents had learned to use different services online, send picture messages by phone and use video camera and who had taught them. Experiences of providing content online (e.g. uploading videos, blogging, commenting on a forum) were charted.

The respondents were asked if they had seen or read something that had disturbed or frightened them when watching programmes or reading, who they had told about it, what an adult had done when hearing about it and how long seeing the content had bothered them. The same questions were asked about the content in video games and Internet with an added question on why they had been frightened or disturbed (e.g. bullying, a piece of news, sexual content). Some questions explored whether the respondents felt that their parents or other adults at home were interested in their favourite media and how often they talked to adults about various media.

Habits of browsing webshops and stores for desired products, reading advertisements for children's products and using money on online games or communities were investigated.

The final set of questions surveyed whether the respondents had followed news about the 2011 parliamentary elections, what channels they had used and who they had discussed these news with. The same set of questions was asked about important foreign news.

The Children's Media Barometer 2011 project also studied whether guided questionnaires and face-to-face interviews conducted by young people can be a viable method when studying children. The fifth-graders filled in the questionnaires themselves in a guided situation in class, while the first- and third-graders were interviewed by older students who filled in the questionnaires for them. In the data, the responses of the first-, third- and fifth-graders have been divided into separate variables and differentiated with initial letters a, b and c, respectively.

Background variables included the respondent's grade at school, age, gender, household composition, number and age of children in the household (also including potential other home), own room at home, languages spoken at home, and school and respondent id.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

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