Cellular phones provide a means for parents to monitor and request information about whereabouts, associates, and current activities from adolescents. Simultaneously, adolescents can communicate with parents to inform them of activities and to solicit support or they can also choose to nondisclose. The frequency, duration, and nature of calls may relate to parents’ and to adolescents’ perceptions of truthfulness and family relationships. 196 dyads (13% father–son, 11% father–daughter, 30% mother–son, and 46% mother–daughter) completed a questionnaire indicating cell phone use, their truthfulness of activities, the nature of their calls to one another, and family relationships. The parents were, on average, 45.38 years old (SD = 6.35) and were 83% Euroamerican, 9% Asian American, 3% Latino, 3% African American, 2% Mixed ethnicity, and 1% American Indian. The adolescents were, on average, 16.25 years old (SD = 1.17) and were 77% Euroamerican, 9% Asian American, 4% Latino, 3% African American, 8% Mixed ethnicity, and .5% American Indian. Correlational analyses revealed that parents who called more frequently reported less truthfulness when speaking to their adolescents via cell phone. Greater frequency in parental calls also was associated with less adolescent-reported truthfulness. From multiple regression analyses, for parents, calls when upset were associated with less parental knowledge and poorer family relations. For adolescents, the same was true; however, adolescents who made calls seeking social support and to ask and confer with parents reported greater perceived parental knowledge and better family relationships.
Parenting Cellular phones Adolescents Parental monitoring Family relations
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
The author wishes to thank Seth J. Schwartz, Melina Bersamin, and Byron Zamboanga who provided feedback on earlier drafts. Partial funding for this project came from a 2005 CSU Faculty Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Award, Mini-grant.
Barber, B. K., Stolz, H. E., & Olsen, J. A. (2005b). Parental support, psychological control, and behavioral control: Assessing relevance across time, culture, and method. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development,70(4), 1–137. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5834.2005.00365.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Crouter, A. C., & Head, M. R. (2002). Parental monitoring and knowledge of children. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting. Children and parenting (Vol. 1, pp. 461–483). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
Darling, N., Cumsille, P., Caldwell, L. L., & Dowdy, B. (2006). Predictors of adolescents’ disclosure to parents and perceived parental knowledge: Between- and within-person differences. Journal of Youth and Adolescence,35, 667–678. doi:10.1007/s10964-006-9058-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dishion, T. J., & McMahon, R. J. (1998). Parental monitoring and the prevention of child and adolescent problem behavior: A conceptual and empirical formulation. Clinical and Family Psychology Review,1, 61–75. doi:10.1023/A:1021800432380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hudson, W. W. (1989). Index of family relations. Tempe: Walmyr.Google Scholar
Jacobson, K. C., & Crockett, L. J. (2000). Parental monitoring and adolescent adjustment: An ecological perspective. Journal of Research on Adolescence,10, 65–97. doi:10.1207/SJRA1001_4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kasesniemi, E., & Rautiainen, P. (2001). Mobile culture of children and teenagers in Finland. In J. E. Katz & M. A. Aakhus (Eds.), Perpetual contact: Mobile communication, private talk, public performance (pp. 171–192). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Laird, R. D., Pettit, G. S., Bates, J. E., & Dodge, K. A. (2003). Parents’ monitoring-related knowledge and adolescents’ delinquent behavior: Evidence of correlated developmental changes and reciprocal influences. Child Development,74, 752–768. doi:10.1111/1467-8624.00566.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ling, R., & Yttri, B. (2001). Hyper-coordination via mobile phone in Norway. In J. E. Katz & M. A. Aakhus (Eds.), Perpetual contact: Mobile communication, private talk, public performance (pp. 139–169). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Masche, J. G., Kerr, M., & Stattin, H. (2007). A general social response principle underlying parental knowledge. In M. E. Winchell (Chair), Exploring parental knowledge from mothers’, fathers’, and offspring’s perspectives. Symposium conducted at the meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development, Boston, MA.Google Scholar
McGee, M. K. (2008, February 11). Track this; Locating data is getting more plentiful and practical. Information Week, 36–40.Google Scholar
Mott, J. A., Crowe, P. A., Richardson, J., & Flay, B. (1999). After-school supervision and adolescent cigarette smoking: Contributions of the setting and intensity of after-school self-care. Journal of Behavioral Medicine,22, 35–58. doi:10.1023/A:1018747602026.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pettit, G. S., & Laird, R. D. (2002). Psychological control and monitoring in early adolescence: The role of parental involvement and earlier child adjustment. In B. K. Barber (Ed.), Intrusive parenting: How psychological control affects children and adolescents (pp. 97–123). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rakow, L. F., & Navarro, V. (1993). Remote mothering and the parallel shift: Women meet the cellular telephone. Critical Studies in Mass Communication,10, 144–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Smetana, J., Crean, H·F., & Campione-Barr, N. (2005). New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development,108, 31–46. doi:10.1002/cd.126.Google Scholar
Soenens, B., Vansteenkiste, M., Luyckx, K., & Goosens, L. (2006). Parenting and adolescent problem behavior: An integrated model with adolescent self-disclosure and perceived parental knowledge as intervening variables. Developmental Psychology,42, 305–318. doi:10.1037/0012-16220.127.116.115.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Steinberg, L., & Silk, J. S. (2002). Parenting adolescents. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting. Children and parenting (Vol. 1, pp. 103–133). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Publishers.Google Scholar
Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
Waizenhofer, R. N., Buchanan, C. M., & Jackson-Newsom, J. (2004). Mothers’ and fathers’ knowledge of adolescents’ daily activities: Its sources and its links with adolescent adjustment. Journal of Family Psychology,18, 348–360. doi:10.1037/0893-318.104.22.1688.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar