Maternal Authority Regarding Early Adolescents’ Social Technology Use

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Bethany L. Blair (Creator)
Anne C. Fletcher, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Use of social technologies (e.g., cellular telephones, social networking sites) is highly prevalent among American adolescents, in some cases outpacing that of adults (Nielsen Company). Rapid cultural change such as that represented by technological advances comes with the potential to diminish elders’ authority over youth. We analyzed qualitative interviews with 20 African American and European American mother–early adolescent dyads to consider ways in which mothers would—or would not—exert authority over adolescents’ use of social technologies. Three distinct approaches emerged: abdication/loss of authority, conflicted authority, and retained authority. Mothers’ use of these different approaches varied based on factors that included mothers’ and adolescents’ expertise regarding the technology being used, mothers’ perceptions of risks associated with particular technologies, and mothers’ and adolescents’ beliefs and experiences with respect to social technology use.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
technology, authority, parenting, adolescents

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