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 2023

This report looks at media use, attitudes and understanding among children and young people aged 3-17.

It also includes findings on parents’ views about their children’s media use, and how parents of children and young people aged 3-17 monitor and manage their children’s use. The report is intended to provide a comprehensive picture of children’s media experiences in 2021 as a reference for industry, policymakers, academics and the general public.

The Communications Act 2003 places a responsibility on Ofcom to promote, and to carry out research into, media literacy. We define media literacy as ‘the ability to use, understand and create media and communications in a variety of contexts’. This report forms part of our wider Making Sense of Media programme.

Children’s Media Lives

This document provides analysis of the findings from the ninth year of Ofcom’s Children’s Media Lives study. As far as possible, the research has followed the same 21 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.

Older research is available through the National Archives.