Parental Influence and Teens’ Attitude toward Online Privacy Protection


Youn, S. (2008, Fall). Parental Influence and Teens’ Attitude toward Online Privacy Protection. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 42(3), 362-388.

Brief Description: This study investigated how parental influence affects teens’ attitude toward online privacy protection. Teens living in a family that values concept-oriented family communication tended to engage in discussion mediation, which increased their level of privacy concern. In contrast, teens living in environments with high socio-oriented communication tended to have more family rules and surf the Internet with parents. Rule-making mediation was not related to teens’ level of privacy concern, while co-surfing mediation was positively related to their level of concern. Privacy-concerned teens wanted to protect their online privacy through support for government regulation, school education, and name removal request.

Implications: When developing policies for online privacy protection of teens, consumer educators and privacy literacy practitioners need to understand the role of parental involvement as a socialization agent. Parental mediation of discussion heightens teens’ privacy concerns and formulates their attitude toward protective measures such as school education. The importance of discussion mediation implies that school education programs on privacy should be offered to both teens and parents. Parental mediation through rule-making and co-surfing motivates teens to support government regulation on e-marketers’ information practices.