Caregiving strategies, parental practices, and the use of Facebook groups among Israeli mothers of adolescents
Facebook offers a “village” for mothers to come together and seek and share parenting information, but while there has been substantial research examining both positive and negative aspects of parents’ Facebook use, there is no research on use of Facebook by mothers of adolescents and its association with parent-adolescent relationships. Given the intense challenges of raising adolescents and the dearth of research into potential benefits and drawbacks of mothers of adolescents seeking support from Facebook, we sought to fill this gap by focusing on the caregiving and parenting practices of mothers of adolescents who were members of mothers’ groups on Facebook. The sample included 74 Israeli dyads of mothers (Mage = 43.73, SD = 4.41), who participated in Facebook groups for mothers and their adolescent children (Mage = 12.26, SD = 3.11) during 2019. Mothers reported on their Facebook use and caregiving strategies. The adolescents answered a parenting practices questionnaire. It was found that higher permissiveness and greater psychological intrusiveness were related to higher use of Facebook by the mothers. Among mothers who were high on hyperactivation, greater permissiveness and psychological intrusiveness were related to higher Facebook use to a greater extent than among mothers who were low on hyperactivation. Alongside Facebook’s benefits as a community for mothers come serious risks for some mothers. As research in this area grows, an examination of the characteristics of Facebook use by mothers of adolescent children involved in Facebook mothers’ groups is meaningful.
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