Theses Bachelor's

Duration of Adolescent Technology Use and Closeness with Parents

Khan, Sarah H.

Adolescents are one of the heaviest users of technology as a group. With the ever increasing amount of time teenagers spend on cell-phones, computers and numerous types of video games, their attention is absorbed by these devices. This may take away from important social interactions that develop in-person relationships. One study from 2004 suggests that more time spent on television, computers and video games leads to a lower quality of attachment to parents. A good parent-teen relationship is important for adolescent health and development. Although there have been no recent experiments on how adolescents' wide use of different types technology affects their relationship with parents, there are indications that electronic communication may be reinforcing teenagers' peer relationships at the expense of relationship with their parents. This study examined the relationship between duration of adolescents' technology use and the relationship with their parents. Three types of technology were considered, namely, computers, cell phones and video games. Self-report questionnaires were filled out by 63 teenagers (ages 14 to 18) from a high school in Bronx, NY. A statistically significant negative correlation was found between duration of computer use and closeness to parent supported by Pearson's correlation coefficient, r(58) = -0.263. However, there were no significant correlations found for any of the other types of technology considered. These findings are attributed to the fact adolescents more commonly use cell phones than the internet to maintain a good relationship with their parents. Therefore, it is possible that cell phones aid parent-teen closeness as it allows them to stay in touch when they are not together. Also, most adolescents reported spending relatively little time playing video games. That may be why video games did not impact their relationship with parents.



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More About This Work

Academic Units
Psychology (Barnard College)
B.A., Barnard College
Published Here
May 26, 2011