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Parental Mediation Strategies

Amy I. Nathanson


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“Parental mediation” refers to the interactions that parents have with children about their media use. The majority of the research has focused on interactions involving children's television viewing. Most scholars believe that parental mediation is comprised of three dimensions. The first dimension refers to parent–child communication about television (→  Media Messages and Family Communication ). This dimension has been given numerous labels, including active mediation, instructive mediation, and evaluative guidance. There can be great variation in the content of parent–child communication about television. Parents might express negative attitudes about programs and content (e.g., “I don't like this program”), encourage children to view the material more critically (e.g., “do you think this would happen in real life?”), provide supplemental information (e.g., “this show is filmed in Los Angeles, California”), or endorse the material or the characters’ behaviors (e.g., “she is my favorite character”). The second dimension refers to the rules and regulations that parents impose on their children's television viewing. Most researchers call this type of interaction “restrictive mediation,” although some use the term “restrictive guidance.” Parents may create daily rules about the number or type of programs that are acceptable, what time of day television may be viewed, or the ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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