Edited By Carol J. Bruess
16. Social Context Influences on Parenting: A Theoretical Model of the Role of Social Media
← 336 | 337 → Social Context Influences on Parenting
A Theoretical Model of the Role of Social Media
SUSAN K. WALKER
University of Minnesota
Parents’ use of the Internet and social media is now central to their daily problem solving, relationship maintenance, and parenting activities (Dworkin, Connell, & Doty, 2013; Plantin & Daneback, 2009; Takeuchi, 2011; Walker & Rudi, 2014; Wartella, Rideout, Lauricella, & Connell, 2013). While the direct impacts of parents’ use of information and communication technologies (ICT) on their intimate relationships with children or on children’s developmental outcomes are unclear (Hertlein, 2012), research strongly points to the role ICT play as a resource of support and influence to parents by connecting individuals and enabling parents access to information. Professionals now employ and design new social and informational technologies to promote parent learning, family engagement, and to build parents’ connections (Hughes, Bowers, Mitchell, Curtiss, & Ebata, 2012).
As we advance ICT research in service to families, our explorations need to be grounded within theoretical frameworks that guide our understanding of new media’s influence. Systems models related to ICT impacts on family life functioning in general (Lanigan, 2009) and family relationships specifically (Hertlein, 2012) have been offered, each articulating family structures and processes influenced by unique characteristics of new technologies and highlighting individual differences in use. To date, however, a model specific to technology use by parents ← 337 | 338 → and impacts on childrearing is absent. Given...
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