A literature review of parents' online behavior

Jodi Dworkin, Jessica Connell, Jennifer Doty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


The purpose of this literature review was to compile and analyze the research that has been conducted on parents' use of the Internet and determine what we know about how parents use the Internet in everyday life. A comprehensive literature review focusing on studies that have asked parents about their Internet use was conducted to include research published through December 2011. This yielded 27 studies. Articles were summarized and then organized by content. Three main themes emerged: what parents are doing online, social support online, and the digital divide. This literature review revealed that parents go online to search for parenting information and social support and generally report satisfaction with the resources they find on the Internet. Parents still express hesitation in trusting various online resources, though, and desire greater education in Internet searching and deciphering the credibility of online information. In addition, this review also exposes gaps in current research, provides direction for future research, and has implications for how to effectively reach parents using the Internet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Education
  • Internet use
  • Literature review
  • Parenting


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