Young People and New Media in Sweden

Ulla Johnsson-Smaragdi


This paper discusses children and teenagers’ access of screen and computer based media in home, either in own room and/or elsewhere in house. The influence of demographic background on access to media is analysed. Homes differ substantially in their media access and it is shown how ownership of certain media relates to ownership of other media. Children’s exposure to media to which they have home access are discussed, that is, the proportion of users and for how long the media are used.

Children’s rooms are filled with screen and computer based media to different extent. The use of screen and IT-media is compared if having access in own room or elsewhere in house only. It is shown that children spend more time with media when they have access to them in their own room. The relation between bedroom type and demographic background is analyzed. Young people’s media use in relation to their bedroom type was analyzed. Young peoples attitudes towards computers and the specific use made of them, if writing, drawing, playing, seeking information and so on, are presented. It is shown that there are different types of users with different purposes: those with a single purpose, with a restricted purpose or with a multi-purpose. Finally, data describing at which places Internet is used and for what purpose is presented.

The data and results presented draws upon a Swedish national study forming part of a multinational comparative project. More than 1600 children and teenagers between 7-16 years participated in the study conducted during spring 1997. A year later 1050 of the parents (65%) answered a set of questions about their socio-economic