Internet usage is a salient developmental factor in adolescents’ lives. Although relevant correlates of Internet use have been documented earlier, there is a lack of information on lower socioeconomic status groups. This is important, as these adolescents have increased risk of negative online experiences. The current survey aimed to explore Internet use and parental involvement amongst adolescents from areas of socio-economic disadvantage in 30 urban schools across five European countries. A total of 2594 students participated, of whom 90% were 14–16 years. Virtually all adolescents of socioeconomic disadvantage had Internet access, with 88.5% reporting spending more than two hours per day online, often on apps such as Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. Almost one-third of adolescents did not talk with their parents about their Internet use and almost two-thirds indicated that their parents were only a little or not interested in their Internet use. A consistent finding across countries was that girls more often talked with their parents about their Internet use and more often reported that their parents were interested in their Internet use than boys. The results suggest that parents have an important task in explicitly showing interest in their adolescents’ Internet use, with special attention needed for boys.
- internet use
- socioeconomic disadvantage