These are some of the findings of a recent Adweek/Harris Poll survey of 2,950 U.S. adults surveyed online between August 5 and 9, 2011 by Harris Interactive.
In addition to school being out, does anything else affect a child's media consumption in the summer? Almost six in ten parents say they loosen the rules during the summer, allowing their kids more freedom (57%) to consume various types of media. One quarter of parents say they do not loosen media consumption rules in the summer (26%) and fewer say that they do not have any rules for their children's media consumption at all (17%). While dads and moms are equally likely to loosen (56% vs. 57%) or not loosen (27% vs. 25%) the rules for their children's media consumption in the summer, there are noticeable differences by region:
•Six in ten parents in the Midwest, South and West (58%-59%) say they loosen the rules for their child's media consumption in summer, compared to just 40% of parents in the Northeast who say the same; and,
•Parents in the Midwest and South are most likely to say that they do not have any rules for their children's media consumption (21% and 20%) compared to fewer parents in the West (14%) and Northeast (11%).
Summer is traditionally seen as a time to unwind, increase recreational activities and possibly get outdoors. But for many youths it seems that this recreational time may include many indoor activities, centered on media and technology. And, according to the survey, very large numbers of youth have the necessary personal technology devices to facilitate these activities—70% of parents of children 17 or younger living at home say their child has a handheld gaming device, 59% say their child has a television in their bedroom and 52% say their child has their own personal computer.