Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Gary Kose

Committee Chair and Members

Gary Kose, Chair

Tristan Adams


Cognitive development, Development, Internet behavior, On-line behavior


Parents of 128 children in a rural elementary school provided information on home Internet access and children’s online activities. Children were individually administered four measures of cognitive development (expressive language, metacognition, visual perception, and auditory memory) and were asked to define ten Internet terms (e.g., email, chat, website). The ability to define an Internet term was assumed to be indicative of experience with that application. Parent response to the open-ended item “what does your child do when he/she uses the Internet at home” was thematically organized into four types of Internet behavior: learn, play, browse, and communicate. Children’s ability to correctly define Internet terms as well as parent reported online learning and communicating (but not playing and browsing) were associated with increased cognitive scores. Focused and goal-directed online activities (e.g., learning and communicating) are recommended for children 6 to 12 years of age.

Included in

Psychology Commons