Parental Mediation and Adolescent Online Social Behavior

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Parental Mediation and Adolescent Online Social Behavior

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Parental mediation strategies are important for protecting children from exposure to risks and harm online. However, not much is known about the role individual adolescent, parent, and family-level factors play in influencing parents’ engagement in parental mediation. These two studies were designed to explore the complex relationships between adolescent anxiety, depression, externalizing, and adolescent disclosure and secrecy, parent-child relationship quality, parent approval of adolescent online social behavior (OSB), parents’ perception of other parents’ approval of OSB, parental mediation, and adolescent OSB. Study one was designed to examine the relationships between individual adolescent factors and parental mediation strategies through proximal processes including parent-child relationship quality, adolescent disclosure, and secrecy. Study two was designed to examine how parents’ perceptions of other parents’ approval are associated with parents’ own approval, their monitoring of online behavior, and their adolescents’ subsequent OSB. Results of these studies indicated that adolescent mental and behavioral health were associated with active and restrictive mediation, but only active mediation was associated with adolescent OSB. It appears that proximal processes between parents and adolescents are associated with technology-related parenting environments. Specifically, two parent-child relationship factors, adolescent disclosure, and secrecy were associated with restrictive mediation, and disclosure alone was associated with active mediation. Results of study two suggest that adolescent engagement in OSB differs based on parents’ approval of OSB, as well as parents’ level of engagement in active mediation, but not restrictive mediation. These two studies contribute to the field by providing a preliminary understanding of the associations between individual, and family-level factors and parents’ engagement in active and restrictive mediation.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation.June 2021. Major: Family Social Science. Advisor: Jodi Dworkin. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 100 pages.

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Keyzers, Angela. (2021). Parental Mediation and Adolescent Online Social Behavior. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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