Valkenburg, P.M., & Soeters, K.E. (2001). Children’s positive and negative experiences with the Internet: An exploratory survey. Communication Research, 28 (5), 652-675.

Abstract: This survey among 194 Dutch children (aged 8-13 yrs) who had home access to the Internet was designed to explore (1) children’s motives for using the Internet, (2) their positive experiences with the Internet, and (3) their negative experiences with the Internet. Results showed that the most important motive for using the Internet was affinity with computers, followed by information and entertainment. Online social interaction and off-line social interaction were the least important motives. Children’s spontaneous descriptions of their positive experiences with the Internet most frequently included playing or downloading computer games (17%), watching video clips and songs (13%), visiting kids entertainment sites (12%), and seeking information about animals (7%). As a negative experience, children most frequently reported a virus or computer crash (10%), violence (4%), and pornography (4%). The authors found several significant age and/or gender differences in children’s motives for using the Internet and in their experiences with the Internet. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)