The aim of the present research was to examine the relationship between Greek young people aged 12-18 and the Internet through their patterns of Internet use in the home. A particular objective of the study was the investigation of the possible effects of social stratification, gender and age on their domestic Internet use. A sample of 418 high school students selected from 17 schools in four Greek cities completed a structured self-reported questionnaire primarily concerned with Internet use (frequency, purpose and behaviour patterns) at home and the types of the parental supervision. The research was carried out during the period 2004-2005. The main findings of the study were the following: (a) Internet access remains at a very low level and is insufficiently used for school purposes, (b) younger students (aged 12-15 years) use it more frequently than older ones for information seeking concerning school work, (c) the Internet is an indicator of social and economic stratification since most young people with access to it come from family environments with a higher educational and socioeconomic background and live in urban and semi urban areas, (d) boys make up the majority of systematic users, mainly for entertainment purposes, (e) the Internet is a place and space safeguarding the "privacy" of young people with the majority of them preferring to surf alone, (f) parental supervision and monitoring seems to be absent largely from the relationship between youth and the Internet, and (g) in general, the frequency and type of Internet use are not significantly affected by students' places of residence or the educational level and profession of their parents. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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