A guide to the influence of communication technology on parent-adolescent relationships

Cell phone use often begins during early adolescence, between the ages of nine and thirteen, with parents having the final decision on cell phone ownership. On average, parents and adolescents communicate four times per day, and adolescents who carry cell phones generally have more flexible curfews and boundaries. However, adolescents do not necessarily appreciate the instant access that carrying a cell phone avails to their parents because certain types of cell phone calls can negatively impact their self-esteem and autonomy and may initiate conflict within the family system. This purpose of this project is to create a guidebook to educate parents and caretakers on adolescent communication technology usage as it pertains to the development of identity, autonomy, and self-esteem. Specifically, the guidebook will integrate research on adolescent development, parental and peer influence on self-esteem, various parenting styles, and the influence of communication technology on families in order to provide best practices for parents when communicating with their adolescent children via cell phone and other communication technologies.