Children’s Media Use and Attitudes


Media literacy enables people to have the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to make full use of the opportunities presented both by traditional and by new communications services. Media literacy also helps people to manage content and communications, and protect themselves and their families from the potential risks associated with using these services.

Our research includes findings relating to parents’ views about their children’s media use, and the ways that parents seek to – or decide not to – monitor or limit use of different types of media.

The Communications Act 2003 placed a responsibility on Ofcom to promote, and to carry out research in, media literacy. Our research into children’s media literacy contributes to Ofcom's fulfilment of this duty.

Children and parents: media use and attitudes report 2020/21

This report examines children’s media literacy. It provides detailed evidence on media use, attitudes and understanding among children and young people aged 5-15, as well as about the media access and use of young children aged 3-4.

The report also includes findings relating to parents’ views about their children’s media use, and the ways that parents seek – or decide not – to monitor or limit use of different types of media.

The report is a reference for industry, stakeholders and consumers. It also provides context to the work Ofcom undertakes in furthering the interests of consumers and citizens in the markets we regulate.

Children’s Media Lives

This report provides analysis of the findings from the seventh year of Ofcom’s Children’s Media Lives study. As far as possible, the research has followed the same 18 children, aged 8-18, over consecutive years, interviewing them on camera each year about their media habits and attitudes.

The study provides evidence about the motivations and the context of children’s media use, and how media are part of their daily lives and domestic circumstances. It also provides rich detail on how media habits and attitudes change over time, particularly in relation to children's emotional and cognitive development.

This research is designed as a way of providing a small-scale, rich and detailed qualitative complement to Ofcom’s quantitative surveys of media literacy.