Barriers to mediation among U.S. parents of adolescents: A mixed-methods study of why parents do not monitor or restrict digital media use

Rachel Young, Melissa Tully, Leandra Parris, Marizen Ramirez, Mallory Bolenbaugh, Ashley Hernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This mixed-methods study considers why parents do not establish or maintain strategies to manage adolescents' media use. In focus groups and interviews, U.S. parents of adolescents (ages 10–17 years) described barriers including beliefs, attitudes, and values; concerns about family conflicts; and social-structural factors, such as burnout from other professional and parenting demands or how the actions of other parents constrained their own opportunities for mediation. We used this exploratory thematic analysis to develop a questionnaire tested with a national survey of U.S. parents. In factor analysis, barriers items clustered together as mediation roadblocks, issues that keep parents from initiating or continuing mediation even when they intend to; and mediation resistance, when parents question mediation practice that did not align with values like support for adolescent autonomy. Parents were much more likely to agree that values-based resistance to mediation was a barrier to monitoring or restricting adolescent media use. In addition, parents with older children and parents whose children reported that they had a controlling parenting style were more likely to agree with monitoring and restrictive mediation roadblocks. Our findings demonstrate that parental mediation research should consider how parents’ values align, or contrast with, recommended practices and how the barriers parents encounter can be addressed to enable effective mediation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108093
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume153
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Barriers
  • Digital media
  • Health belief model
  • Mixed methods
  • Parental mediation

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