Friending your parents on Facebook can obviously have some humorous consequences. But what does it say about the relationship between the parent and child? Here, the researchers surveyed parents and children about their Facebook use and the"behavioral outcomes" of the children (e.g., delinquency). Turns out that social networking with parents is associated with better outcomes, which the authors suggest is actually the result of the parent-child social networking. But we wonder if this is a case of mistaking correlation and causation?
A Friend Request from Dear Old Dad: Associations Between Parent-Child Social Networking and Adolescent Outcomes. "Abstract This study examined the relationship between parent-child social networking, connection, and outcomes for adolescents. Participants (491 adolescents and their parents) completed a number of questionnaires on social networking use, feelings of connection, and behavioral outcomes. Social networking with parents was associated with increased connection between parents and adolescents. Feelings of connection then mediated the relationship between social networking with parents and behavioral outcomes, including higher prosocial behavior and lower relational aggression and internalizing behavior. Conversely, adolescent social networking use without parents was associated with negative outcomes, such as increased relational aggression, internalizing behaviors, delinquency, and decreased feelings of connection. These results indicate that although high levels of social networking use may be problematic for some individuals, social networking with parents may potentially strengthen parent-child relationships and then lead to positive outcomes for adolescents."
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