New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

Parents Know Their Underage Children Join Facebook—and Often Help Them Sign Up, Survey Shows

November 3, 2011

Many parents know that their underage children are on Facebook in violation of the site’s restrictions and are often complicit in helping their children join the site, according to a study led by danah boyd, a research assistant professor at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

The findings, which appeared in First Monday, a peer-reviewed online journal, coincide with a federal review of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). COPPA mandates that web sites obtain “verifiable parental consent” before collecting information on children under 13. Facebook has a minimum age requirement of 13.

The national survey, conducted in July 2011, included 1,007 U.S. parents who have children living with them between the ages of 10 and 14. Among its findings were the following:

    • Twelve is the mean age at which parents of current 13- and 14-year-olds reported that their child joined Facebook.
    • Thirty-six percent of all parents surveyed knew that their child joined Facebook before the age of 13; 68 percent of these parents helped their child create their account.
    • Fifty-five percent of parents of 12-year-olds report their child has a Facebook account; 82 percent of these parents knew when their underage child signed up and 76 percent assisted in creating the account.
    • Fifty-three percent of parents think Facebook has a minimum age; 35 percent of these parents think that it is a recommendation and not a requirement.

Boyd is a faculty member in Steinhardt’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication and a senior researcher at Microsoft Research, which supported the project. The study’s other authors included: Eszter Hargittai of Northwestern University, Jason Schultz of the University of California, Berkeley, and John Palfrey of Harvard University.

 

This Article is in the following Topics:
Research, NYUToday-feature, Faculty, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Type: Article

Parents Know Their Underage Children Join Facebook—and Often Help Them Sign Up, Survey Shows

Many parents know that their underage children are on Facebook in violation of the site’s restrictions and are often complicit in helping their children join the site, according to a study led by danah boyd (pictured above), a research assistant professor at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.


Search News



NYU In the News

Paying It Backward: NYU Alum Funds Scholarships

The Wall Street Journal profiled Trustee Evan Chesler on why he decided to chair the Momentum fund-raising campaign.

A Nobel Prize Party: Cheese, Bubbles, and a Boson

The New Yorker talked to Professor Kyle Cranmer and graduate student Sven Kreiss about NYU’s role in the discovery of the Higgs boson, which resulted in a Nobel prize for the scientists who predicted its existence.

The World as They Knew It

The New York Times reviewed the exhibit at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World on how ancient Greeks and Romans mapped the known and unknown areas of their world.

Elite Institutions: Far More Diverse Than They Were 20 Years Ago

NYU made stronger gains over the last 20 years in increasing diversity than any other major research university, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Program Seeks to Nurture ‘Data Science Culture’
at Universities

The New York Times reported on the multi-million collaboration among NYU and two other universities to harness the potential of Big Data, including an interview with Professor Yann LeCun, director of NYU’s Center for Data Science.

NYU Footer