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Kids Are Teaching Parents How to Use Technology

Update Date: Jan 24, 2014 12:25 PM EST

Children are teaching their parents how to use technology. A new study reveals that between 30 to 40 percent of parents learn how to use the computer and Internet from their children.

Lea researcher Teresa Correa of the University Diego Portales conducted interviews with 14 parent/ child sets and surveyed 242 parent/child sets and found that children influence their parents in all technologies studied up to 40 percent of the time.

Researchers found that children scored higher than parents, meaning that parents don't always recognize the influence.

The findings revealed that parents also learned how to use technology by self-experimentation.

Researchers noted that mothers and parents of lower socioeconomic families are more likely to learn to use technologies from their children. Researchers explained that this effect is similar to what happens among low-income immigrant families, where children are language and culture links between the family and new environment.

"The fact that this bottom-up technology transmission occurs more frequently among women and lower-SES families has important implications," Correa said in a news release. "Women and poor people usually lag behind in the adoption and usage of technology. Many times, they do not have the means to acquire new technologies but, most importantly, they are less likely to have the knowledge, skills, perceived competence, and positive attitudes toward digital media. These results suggest that schools in lower-income areas should be especially considered in government or foundation-led intervention programs that promote usage of digital media."

The findings are published in the Journal of Communication.

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