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25-07-2017 | Original Paper | Uitgave 12/2017

Journal of Child and Family Studies 12/2017

Electronic Communication Use and Socio-Emotional Well-Being among Military Youth

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 12/2017
Auteurs:
Melissa A. Landers-Potts, Catherine Walker O’Neal, Jay A. Mancini

Abstract

The authors seek to investigate the relationship between electronic-communication (e-communication) use and social isolation for adolescents age 11–18 in the context of military family life, with a specific focus on relationship function provided by e-communication. Self-efficacy, developmental stage (early or middle/late adolescence), sex, and military contextual factors (parents’ military rank, number of school changes and parent deployment) on social benefits and social isolation were controls in the model. Data from a computer survey administered to adolescents (N = 1036) who had at least one active-duty military parent at five US Army installations in the US and Western Europe were analyzed using a path analysis model. Findings suggest that using e-communication to establish new relationships may be strategic for military youth, who experience many geographic relocations and school changes, in terms of creating social benefits (opportunity for nurturance). On the other hand, spending large amounts of time using e-communication may impede the establishment of nurturing relationships with others and ultimately may be linked to social isolation. Within the model, significant moderational effects related to self-efficacy, sex of the adolescent and parents’ military rank were found.

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