Parents and adolescents communicate with each other both in-person and using technology. However, little is known about how communication using each medium is used to satisfy specific communication needs and relates to parent-child closeness and adolescent outcomes. Parental solicitation and adolescent disclosure are two forms of parent-child communication that are related to parent-child closeness and adolescent outcomes including depression, anxiety, delinquency, and prosocial behavior. Study one was designed to fill gaps in the literature by examining how and in what ways parental solicitation is one need that can be filled through communication in-person and using technology. Study two was designed to examine differences in parent-child closeness and adolescent outcomes based on adolescent disclosure in-person and using technology and discrepancies in parent and adolescent report of parental solicitation in-person and using technology. The final sample included 403 parent-adolescent dyads; statistical analyses, including correlation, t-test, ANOVA, and path analysis were conducted to explore relationships described above. Results of these studies suggest that parental solicitation is one communication need that can be satisfied in-person and using technology, and that there are demographic differences in how frequently technology is used to satisfy needs for parental solicitation and adolescent disclosure. Additionally, differences in parent-child closeness and adolescent outcomes emerged based on whether adolescent disclosure occurred in-person or using technology. Finally, there were discrepancies in parent and adolescent reports of parental solicitation behaviors in-person and using technology and those discrepancies were associated with parent-child closeness and adolescent outcomes. These studies contribute to the overall literature by increasing our understanding of how parents and adolescents specifically choose to communicate in-person or using technology based upon what they aim to gain from each conversation. In addition, findings help to inform parents and practitioners on when communication using technology might be beneficial to relationships and outcomes, and when communication using technology should be discouraged or even avoided.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2020. Major: Family Social Science. Advisor: Jodi Dworkin. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 115 pages.
Parental solicitation and adolescent disclosure in-person and using technology: Associations with parent-child closeness and adolescent outcomes.
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