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Adolescent Internet Use and Parenting Practices

first_imgThis post was written by Rachel Dorman, M.S. and Kacy Mixon, PhD, LMFT. Both are members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn. By Rachel Dorman, MS, & Kacy Mixon, PhD, LMFT[Flickr, Laura Wears Dresses to go Online by Christina Welsh, CC BY-ND 2.0] Retrieved on September 23, 2015Advances in technology have created opportunities for families to stay connected. Military families in particular often find technology beneficial in helping family members stay connected to one another while deployed or away for mandatory training. Along with these benefits, advances in technology can also lead to problems within families.Today’s post explores research on the topic of parenting practices and internet use of children. Van den Eijnden, Spijkerman, Vermulst, and van Rooij (2010) [1] sought to learn more about how parent child communication impacts adolescent internet use. The researchers’ specifically focused on how parenting practices regarding a child’s internet use impacted the likelihood of having compulsive internet use (CIU). Compulsive internet use is a term used by the researchers to describe internet addition. Using two previously collected data sets on adolescents ranging in age from 10 to 15 years of age, the researchers found the following:Younger and less educated children were more likely to show symptoms of CIU.Parent’s strict rules surrounding the time of internet use was found to promote children’s compulsive tendencies.Children whose parents reacted negatively to their child’s excessive internet use were found to be at a lower risk of CIU.Children were at lower risk of CIU when parents had rules regarding the content of internet use allowed.Children whose parents communicated well with them regarding internet use were found to be at a lower risk of CIU.Professionals working with military families can encourage parents to be informed about the role and potential risks associated with internet use in families, especially those with adolescents. For instance, parent-child communication styles, where children “feel comfortable, understood and taken seriously by their parents during conversations about their internet use [1]” were offered by the researchers as important parenting practices that can prevent the risk of CIU in children and adolescents. The researchers also encourage future studies to include data from both adolescents and parents.References[1] Van den Eijnden, R., Spijkerman, R., Vermulst, A., van Rooij, T., & Engels, R. (2010). Compulsive internet use among adolescents: Bidirectional parent-child relationships. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 38(1), 77-89. doi:  10.1007/s10802-009-9347-8last_img

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