Parenting in the digital age: urban black youth's perceptions about technology-based communication with parents

Sarah Jensen Racz, Sarah Lindstrom Johnson, Catherine P. Bradshaw, Tina L. Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Given the high rates of cell phone and Internet usage among youth, technology is a promising method for improved parent–youth communication. However, little is known about how parents can effectively engage in technology-based communication with youth, particularly low-income urban minority youth. Eight focus groups with 82 low-income urban black youth (aged 14 to 22 years) provided information about perceptions of technology-based communication with parents. Youth in the focus groups reported that they preferred to use text messaging with their parents, as it afforded them control over the frequency and type of communication. Youth shared concerns about excessive/intrusive parental use of technology and invasions of privacy, suggesting potential barriers to effective technology-based parent–youth communication. The findings from this qualitative study indicate that using text messages with youth and setting guidelines for technology-based communication may enhance parent–youth communication while also respecting youth's increasing autonomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Family Studies
StateAccepted/In press - Nov 26 2015



  • minority youth
  • Parent–youth communication
  • qualitative research methods
  • technology
  • urban families

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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