Background and Objective:In recent decades, the use of new information and communication technologies around the world has grown rapidly. The proliferation of personal computers, mobile phones or Android phones, and the easy access to the Internet provided by telephone operators have changed the lives of millions of people. These changes have directly and indirectly affected people's behaviors and habits, and even their cognitive and mental characteristics. As the use of the Internet by children and adolescents increases, there are concerns about their online safety. Providing a safe environment requires an in-depth understanding of the types of risks of the online environment, as well as effective solutions to reduce these risks. The issue of cyberspace abuses and the irreparable damage that this environment can do to personality and social image is a matter of consideration, the prevention of which is most of all the responsibility of the educational organizations, and particularly the family. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between parental supervisory styles and internet safety of children among male and female students of high school.
Methods: Descriptive correlational (structural equation modeling) method was used at this study. All the second grade students of high school in Dezful and their parents in the academic year of 2017-2018 were statistical population of this study. According to the sample size, 375 people were selected based on Krejcie and Morgan's tables. Stratified sampling method and random cluster sampling were used for sampling. Two standard questionnaires of determining parental supervisory styles and a researcher-made questionnaire of checking the internet safety of children on a Likert scale were used to collect data. Frequency distribution, mean, Pearson correlation coefficient, regression and structural equation model test were used to analyze the data.
Findings: The results showed that there is a significant difference between the parenting styles and the level of internet safety of children. Parents' cordial behavior with their children and their proper control give more confidence among family members. The child who feels such a climate feels safe in expressing his Internet needs, the things that are encountered in using the internet, as well as the questions and problems encountered when using the internet will be more comfortable to discuss these issues with parent.
Conclusion: The results show that the highest Internet security of children is observed in the authoritarian regulatory style, followed by the authoritarian style and the negligent style; while the lowest internet security is observed in the non-interfering style. The results also showed that there was a significant relationship between parental supervision style and parental Internet security. Parents' sincere behavior and their proper control provide more trust among family members. The child who feels this atmosphere feel more secure and comfortable to express their needs about the Internet, the events that occur in using the Internet, and the questions and problems that they have while using the Internet. Parents with a friendly style and proper control have taken the necessary precautions to use the Internet safely and avoid serious risks. They have clearly set their own rules and expectations for children to use the Internet. And children are aware that they must respect these rules and expectations in order to be loved by their parents. In fact, this group of parents are not far behind their children in issues such as Internet literacy and media literacy, and they know and practice the etiquette of dealing with their children when they use the Internet.
©2020 The author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, as long as the original authors and source are cited. No permission is required from the authors or the publishers.