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Children, Families and the Internet

News Release

For Immediate Release
December 4, 2003

Sandy Baird, Wheeler Baird Group



“Children, Families and the Internet” Also Reveals Dissatisfaction with School Access

More than 2 million American children ages 6 -17 have their own personal websites today, a broad new Internet survey shows. According to data released today from “Children, Families and the Internet,” a survey by Grunwald Associates, this figure represents fully 10 percent of the 23 million kids who have Internet access from home today -- a threefold increase since 2000. Four in ten children online from home say they either have or plan to build their own sites. With the majority of kid site planners saying they’ll build within the next year or sooner, the researchers project that more than 6 million American children -- more than one in four of kids online from home -- will have their own personal websites by 2005.

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Children, Families and the Internet” is one of the deepest and broadest looks at American families and their Internet habits, attitudes, and interests. The survey reflects data obtained from four interrelated phone and online surveys Grunwald Associates conducted with thousands of children ages 6 to 17 and parents of children ages 2 to 17.

The group of kids who have or plan to build their own personal websites includes 44% of 13-17 year olds and even a third (32%) of 6-8 year olds. The study further reveals that girls are significantly more likely than boys to have their own sites today: 12.2% of girls online from home have sites today, versus only 8.6% of boys.

Peter Grunwald, President of Grunwald Associates, observes, “Previous generations of kids wrote earnest poetry, or joined rock bands to express themselves. Today’s kids do so by building personal websites. And they’re hungry for tools to help them build better, more engaging sites, and stay in closer touch with friends.”

“Grunwald Associates has been collecting longitudinal data on American children’s computer and Internet usage since 1995, and our research has consistently shown kids are getting increasingly sophisticated about how they use the medium in every way as they spend more and more time on it. They’re constantly raising the bar in terms of their expectations,” notes Tom de Boor, Grunwald Associates’ principal analyst.

High Expectations = Disappointing School Online Experience

When American kids go online from school, “Children, Families and the Internet” shows that many children are disappointed in the experience. A whopping 76% of kids with broadband Internet access at home say that their home connection is faster than their school connection. Even a majority (62%) of students with dial-up modem connections from home perceive their home connections to be about the same or faster than their school connections.

Both kids 6-17 and their parents are also expressing rising levels of frustration with the amount of time kids are getting online at school. Nearly half of kids online from home (49%) and more than a third of their parents (34%) say that kids are getting “too little time online” in their schools. This represents a doubling of dissatisfaction on the part of parents of 9-17 year olds and a near-doubling on the part of their children since 2000. In 2000 only 27% of 9-17 year olds thought they were getting too little time online in school, versus 50% today, while the percentage of parents of 9-17 year olds who are dissatisfied with their kids’ online time has risen from 17% to 34%.

About Grunwald Associates

Grunwald Associates is the research and consulting firm whose surveys on children, family and school use of technology and the Internet are considered the “gold standard” of market research on new information services in the home and school markets. The Company has been collecting longitudinal data on American children’s computer and Internet usage since 1995, the year it released “The American Learning Household Survey,” produced with FIND/SVP. In 1997, Grunwald released the ”1997 Children on the Internet” study (also produced with FIND/SVP), and in 2000 the firm released the “Children, Families and the Internet” study, which has become its flagship survey. The current “Children, Families and the Internet study completely updates and broadens the survey with new data, based on thousands of interviews with children ages 2-17 and their parents on topics ranging from Internet usage and attitudes, new technology usage, media consumption habits, and parental attitudes, needs and wants. Grunwald Associates’ “Schools and the Internet” study, conducted with the National School Boards Association, reveals school technology needs, plans and attitudes, based on a survey of school district leaders nationwide. In addition to industry-wide research, Grunwald Associates helps Fortune 500 and smaller clients by providing proprietary research, strategic counsel, and development assistance. More information is available at the firm's web site,

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