article If you’re a parent of a child who uses Whatsapp and you have been unable to stop them using it, you might want to reconsider, according to new research.
Researchers from the Australian National University and University of Melbourne, who analysed more than two million messages from over 1.5 million users, found that the app was a very effective way of monitoring and controlling behaviour, but that its usage also affected the way children were taught.
“Children are really sensitive to their surroundings,” lead researcher Dr Jodi Wood told AAP.
“They can be very critical about their surroundings.”
Dr Wood, from the School of Psychology, said the research was particularly relevant for teachers, who were increasingly aware of children’s behavioural and emotional development.
“Teachers are increasingly looking at kids’ social interactions, their emotional development, and what’s happening with their parents and siblings,” she said.
The research was conducted in partnership with the Australian Institute of Child Health and Development and the Australian Centre for Child and Adolescent Health.””
It’s a very sensitive subject.”
The research was conducted in partnership with the Australian Institute of Child Health and Development and the Australian Centre for Child and Adolescent Health.
“Kids can’t control what they see or hear, so we know what they’re feeling, and that affects their behavior,” Dr Wood said.
She said the researchers looked at how the app used children’s perceptions of their environment.
“We were really interested in how children were trained to use the app,” Dr Woodward said.
The study examined the usage of different words, such as ‘snow’, ‘pavement’, ‘trees’, and ‘hill’, in a range of phrases and situations, including a video.
“One phrase we found really interesting was the snow-related phrases,” Dr Wright said.
“We found that kids were actually able to predict whether they would be on a snow bank, they were able to get on the snow bank and be able to go out and ski or snowboard.”
Dr Woodward said children could be taught to be sensitive to these emotions.
“It might be the snow, it might be how you’re wearing your jacket, or it might have been the snow outside, or if you’re watching a video or looking at pictures, kids are able to tell whether the subject is really upset or not,” she added.
“For example, they might be saying, ‘This is a snowbank.
This is where you want to go.
And that could be a little bit like the ice rink or something like that.”
The researchers found that children were more likely to use a phrase that implied that something bad was going to happen if the parent had said something like ‘a snowbank’, rather than the more common ‘a road’.
Dr Wood said the study showed that the way kids were taught to communicate could affect how they were taught about emotions, and how they responded to situations.
“Parents are teaching their children, ‘You know, kids need to know the difference between right and wrong’,” she said, adding that teachers were not the only ones who needed to be aware of the effects.
“There are so many social influences that have been introduced into our schools that are influencing kids’ behaviour.”
The study is published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.