1216958_Bennetts,S_2023.pdf (518.58 kB)
‘Stranger danger’, ‘abduction risks’ and ‘fear’: Media coverage of children's independent mobility and parental attitudes
journal contributionposted on 2023-11-09, 04:51 authored by Shannon BennettsShannon Bennetts, Amanda CooklinAmanda Cooklin, Jan NicholsonJan Nicholson, Naomi HackworthNaomi Hackworth, J Green, SR Zubrick, Sharinne CrawfordSharinne Crawford
The media plays a powerful role in shaping health-related attitudes and behaviours. We investigated media reports about children's independent mobility (CIM) and associations with parental attitudes towards CIM. CIM-related media reports (newspaper, online, television) during a 3-month period were extracted from two databases. Concurrent parental attitudes were collected via telephone interview from 1779 parents of children aged 9–15 years. Media reports were overwhelmingly negative: 94% mentioned only risks and 6% mentioned benefits. There was no association between media reports and parental attitudes. Parental CIM attitudes are often complex and pervasive and may not be shifted by media coverage alone.