Roughly 21 percent of American parents queried by researchers for a University of Southern California (USC) survey think their children spend too much time online—though the majority haven’t seen any major change in the kids’ grades due to the Web surfing, the Associated Press reports via Forbes.com.
The survey has been conducted nearly every year since 2000, and the latest version is expected to be released on Wednesday, according to the AP.
In 2000, the survey concluded that 11 percent of adult Web surfers thought their kids were spending too much time online, the AP reports.
Television has long been on the radar of parents of school-age children who worry the boob tube eats up study time and withers away scholastic motivation, and the USC survey findings suggest that despite the Web’s current popularity, TV is still a more significant concern. Just under 50 percent of adult respondents said they think their kids watch too much TV, according to the AP.
Four out of five children said that a significant portion of their time online is spent doing some school-related work, but three-quarters of parents saw no change in their kids’ grades after gaining Web access, the AP reports.
The phrase “To bed with no TV” has been used to punish children in the United States for years, and parents are adding Internet bans to their list of recourses to bad behavior. Nearly half of parents queried—47 percent—said they’d taken Web access away from children as punishment, compared to the 57 percent who punished their kids by not allowing them to watch TV, according to the AP.
Since the survey was first conducted in 2000, USC researchers have seen the number of respondents who access the Internet increase from 67 percent to 78 percent, and residential Web surfing has increased from 47 percent to 68 percent of those surveyed, the AP reports. Those people spent an average of 9.4 hours a week online in 2000, compared to the 14 hours they currently spend online in a week’s time, according to the AP.
A separate survey of British Web surfers recently released suggested that online video in the United Kingdom is taking a bite out of the time people spend watching television; however, the USC study found that the Web’s effect on television viewing in the United States has changed very little since 2000, the AP reports. Thirty-three percent of respondents said they watched less TV in 2001 as a result of Internet usage, compared to 36 percent in 2006, according to the AP.
Some 2,270 U.S. homes were contacted via telephone for the survey between February and April 2006, and interviews were conducted in both English and Spanish, the AP reports. There was a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percent, according to the AP.
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