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Biological Metaphor of “Natural History” for Internet Use: The Child–Adult Social Maturation Journey

Green, L., Holloway, D.J. and Holloway, D.A. (2013) Biological Metaphor of “Natural History” for Internet Use: The Child–Adult Social Maturation Journey. Asia Pacific Media Educator, 23 (2). pp. 277-290.

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Using a metaphor borrowed from the biological sciences, this article discusses a “natural history” of internet use. As “digital natives” many of today’s teenagers and young people have grown up and matured interacting with the internet from an early age. Research about young people’s internet use tends, however, to focus on the protection of minors. Young people, 16 years or older, are often excluded from non-commercial research about how young people grow into more mature patterns of internet use.

This article highlights how parents with teenagers are building dynamic models of their children’s engagement with the internet as they mature. Parents reported changes in the level of their children’s internet use as they age and they envisage further changes as their children mature. We also identify the variety of ways in which parents support their children’s developing internet skills that anticipate and respond to internet risks and excessive internet use.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Management and Governance
Publisher: Sage
Copyright: University of Wollongong
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