Children’s Motivation for Digital Media Use

Conference: The European Conference on Media, Communication & Film (EuroMedia2021)
Title: Children’s Motivation for Digital Media Use
Stream: Social Media and Communication Technology
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Vanesa Varga, Catholic University of Croatia, Croatia
Marina Kotrla Topic, Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Croatia
Sara Jelovcic, Catholic University of Croatia, Croatia
Marina Merkas, Catholic University of Croatia, Croatia


This paper aims to explore motivations for digital media use among Croatian children aged 4 to 14 years, from the perspective of children and their parents. Since the use of digital media has become a significant part of children’s and parents’ everyday life, and digital devices are a common part of every household, one of the main questions is why and for what purposes children of different age use digital media. In this study, we focus on the family context of children’s digital media use, and the nature of this paper is exploratory, rather than confirmatory. We use data from a qualitative study which is conducted as a part of the research project “Digital technology in the family: patterns of behaviour and effects on child development” financed by the Croatian Science Foundation. Semi-structured research interviews with children (aged 4 to 6 years) and their parents, and focus groups with children (aged 7 to 14 years) as well as focus groups with their parents were conducted online. Using thematic analysis, we analysed data obtained from children and their parents on children’s motivation and perceived benefits and purposes of digital media use. The results reveal different categories of motives and a variety of purposes for digital media use among preschool and school-aged children.

Virtual Presentation

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