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While about half said they are very concerned that their own children see too much violence and sexual material, that was down from more than six in 10 who expressed such worries in a 1998 Kaiser survey. Black and Hispanic parents were more likely than whites to voice that concern.
About three-fourths rated exposure to inappropriate material as one of their top concerns as a parent, or a big worry. Television and the Internet were most frequently cited as the leading sources of angst.
While two-thirds said they closely watch their children's media use, 18 percent said they should do more, while another 16 percent said such monitoring is not necessary. Of those who said they need to do more, most said they haven't because media exposure is too widespread or they were too busy.
The report also found:
One in four said the media are mainly a negative influence on their children, about a third said they are mainly positive, and slightly more than that said they have little impact.
Three in four with children 9 or older who use the Internet at home said they know a lot about what their children do online. Most said they have checked their children's e-mail, profiles on social networking sites like MySpace, and the online sites they visit.
About four in 10 who own televisions with V-chips -- which can block certain television shows -- were aware they had the technology. Of those, nearly half said they have used it.
The Kaiser survey of 1,008 randomly chosen parents of children age 2 to 17, has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. It was conducted last Oct. 2-27 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, a private firm.
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[Associated Press; article by Alan Fram, Associated Press writer]
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