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12-03-2018 | Original Paper | Uitgave 7/2018

Journal of Child and Family Studies 7/2018

Adolescent Cell Phone Communications with Mothers and Fathers: Content, Patterns, and Preferences

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 7/2018
Auteurs:
Anne C. Fletcher, Marta Benito-Gomez, Bethany L. Blair

Abstract

Adolescents participated in qualitative interviews (N = 40) and permitted researchers to check their cell phone histories (N = 35) for the content and frequency of text and call communications with parents. Communications focused predominantly on day-to-day “managerial” aspects of parent–child relationships but also facilitated emotional connections between adolescents and parents. Adolescents preferred to use texts to engage in managerial communications and calls to connect emotionally, but logistical constraints resulted in most cell phone communications between adolescents and parents involving calls. Participants communicated more with mothers than fathers, regardless of communication content or medium. This was true regardless of family structure, although gender-of-parent differences were accentuated for adolescents in mother-only households. This pattern was explained by both greater maternal accessibility and adolescent preferences for communication with mothers. Communications with fathers tended to occur either when mothers were not available or when the communication was focused on a highly specific set of stereotypically masculine content areas.

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