Parents’ use of information and communications technologies for family communication: differences by age of children

Jessie Rudi, Jodi Dworkin, Susan Walker, Jennifer Doty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Despite widespread adoption of information and communications technologies (ICTs) by families in the United States, little is known about parents' use of ICTs specifically for family communication. Using a national sample of parents (N = 1322), this study examined parents' use of four widely used ICTs (text message, email, social networking sites, and Skype) to communicate with family including differences in use by child's age. Results show parents' use of various ICTs is dynamic, reflecting developmental differences in the child and relational differences in the family system. Findings revealed that the use of ICTs for parent–child communication increased with child's age, communication with co-parent via text message was more likely among parents of school-aged children, and parents of adolescent children were less likely to use text or email to communicate with non-resident family than parents of school-aged children. Examining how parents are using specific ICTs to communicate with particular family members furthers our understanding of the impact of technology on communication processes occurring within families in today's digital age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-93
Number of pages16
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 26 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Taylor & Francis.


  • Computer-mediated communication
  • ICTs
  • family communication
  • parenting
  • social media


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