In collaboration with the ZDF (Second German Television Service), the Institute organised a questionnaire of n=750 parents of children between three and 17. The goal was to learn which aspects of the mediascape parents regard, from their perspective, as problematical with respect to their children, where they see a need for protection and how they rate the measures to date for protecting young people using media and how they apply these measures themselves.
Parents broadly agree that children and young people ought to be protected from the negative influences of the media – and that even applies to parents of 16-17 year-olds. Media content which could have a deleterious effect on children and young people should not be freely available – 80% of parents share this opinion. And it is still more likely that they will maintain that the protection of young people using media takes precedence, even if this is uncomfortable for adult users. However, parents also allot great significance to adolescents’ competence with media in connection with the protection of young people using media: three quarters of parents are convinced that children and young people can be best protected in their dealings with media if they are sufficiently informed and know how they can best protect themselves.
The internet is the medium about which most parents harbour anxieties about their children possibly experiencing content that would not be good for their development. Three quarters of parents express such anxieties. In this respect, the anxieties, at almost 90%, are the most strongly pronounced among the parents of 12-13 year-olds. Such anxieties refer, above all, to risks like financial trickery or fraud, divulging of personal data and the misuse of it, depictions of violence, as well as sexual molestation and pornography.
Parents’ anxieties are noticeably less as regards television. Here, 10% are "very” and 43% "somewhat” anxious about possible negative experiences. In the case of television, parents consider limitations on scheduling play a vital role in fostering education about media.