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Parental supervision and control of adolescents’ problematic internet use: understanding and predicting adoption of parental control software

Kristin Stewart (Department of Marketing, California State University San Marcos, San Marcos, California, USA)
Glen Brodowsky (Department of Marketing, CSU San Marcos, San Marcos, California, USA)
Donald Sciglimpaglia (Department of Marketing, California State University San Marcos, San Marcos, California, USA)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Article publication date: 23 September 2021

Issue publication date: 10 May 2022

503

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify the factors that motivate parents to adopt internet monitoring software (aka parental control software [PCS]) to curb problematic internet usage and safeguard their children online. By doing so, the authors are able to curb problematic internet usage and keep children safe online.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was conducted using a representative sample of 330 parents in the USA with children ages 10 to 15. Results were analyzed using structural equation modeling.

Findings

This research combines two theories, namely, technology acceptance model (TAM) and protection motivation theory (PMT) to factors that motivate parents to adopt internet monitoring software to help their children. Perceived severity, perceived vulnerability from PMT and personal innovativeness (PI) from TAM, which is related to self-efficacy and the belief that future technologies will require less effort to adopt, are key factors that influence parents’ perceived usefulness of PCS. Perceived usefulness and PI both positively predict parents’ purchase intention for internet monitoring software.

Practical implications

The study establishes that there are personal, technology and situational factors that motivate the adoption of PCS. These determinants have implications for how marketers identify potential users and how they might improve the promotion of internet monitoring technologies.

Originality/value

The paper extends the application of the technology acceptance model and PMT to predict technology adoption aimed at helping others. Findings show that personal and perceptual factors motivate parents’ adoption of internet monitoring software to curb problematic internet usage and keep children safe online. This paper is the first to combine the technology acceptance model and PMT to explain the adoption of software solutions to protect others online. By doing so, a more thorough account of parents’ technology adoption to protect their children is offered.

Keywords

Citation

Stewart, K., Brodowsky, G. and Sciglimpaglia, D. (2022), "Parental supervision and control of adolescents’ problematic internet use: understanding and predicting adoption of parental control software", Young Consumers, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 213-232. https://doi.org/10.1108/YC-04-2021-1307

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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