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Published: 06 Oct, 2009

Major study on children’s online usage

NEWS Umeå University is participating in the largest ever European study on children’s experiences of risks on the internet.

It was recently announced that Sweden would be one of the countries that would take part in EU Kids Online II, a research project funded by the European Union. During the next two years, original empirical research will be conducted across member states with national samples of children aged 9-16 years old and their parents. It is designed to examine children’s and parents’ experiences and practices regarding use, risk and safety online. The aim is to produce a rigorous, cross-nationally comparative quantitative evidence base regarding internet use across Europe.

In Sweden, the project is headed by Cecilia von Feilitzen, University College of Sodertorn, and Elza Dunkels, Umeå University. Both are very pleased that Sweden’s participation was approved by project team managers.

”Sweden has a long standing as one of the countries where internet use is widespread and it will be interesting to examine how its use, risks and safety on the internet in a European perspective,” they said.
”In this manner, we get to influence how the questions are devised from the very beginning, which we see as strength of this large collaborative project.”

The personal interviews will be conducted by a European research institute and research teams from the participating countries. The aim is to produce a rigorous, cross-nationally comparative quantitative evidence base regarding internet use across Europe. First findings are expected to be available in spring 2010.

The project is led by Professor Sonia Livingstone and Dr. Leslie Haddon, London School of Economics, and includes over 20 EU member states. The complete list is available at: http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/EUKidsOnline/EU%20Kids%20II/Participating/Default.htm.

The project is a continuation of EU Kids Online I, which was a three-year collaboration that examined how people, especially children and young people, use new media. The results of EU Kids Online have been presented in a book  "Kids Online: Opportunities and risks for children." Elza Dunkel contributed with two articles  – Risky contacts and Inappropriate content.

The project has an international advisory panel with well respected researchers in field, including Professor David Finkelhor and Professor Janis Wolak, Crimes against Children Research Center, University of New Hampshire, USA. A list of all the experts on the panel can be found at: http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/EUKidsOnline/InternationalAdvisoryPanel.htm.

The contact person in Sweden for EU Kids Online II is Elza Dunkels, Department of Interactive Media and Learning, Umeå UniversityPhone: +46 (0)90-786 6053Mobile: +46 (0)070-2735323
E-mail: elza.dunkels@educ.umu.se