Parental regulation of online behavior and cyber aggression: Adolescents’ experiences and perspectives


The present study examines adolescents’ experiences with, and perspectives about, parental regulation of internet-based peer socialization including cyber aggression. Adolescents (N = 110) were surveyed about technology use, electronic device ownership, and the extent to which parents place restrictions on, and/or monitor, their cyber behavior. Adolescents were also asked about their experiences with parental regulation of cyber aggression, and these responses were compared to experiences with other forms of aggressive behavior (relational and overt). Perceptions of legitimacy of parental authority were also compared for online and offline aggression, and for acts typically considered to be within the personal domain. Adolescents believed their online behavior to be primarily unrestricted by parents. Parental regulation of cyber aggression was less prevalent than parental regulation of overt aggression, but greater than parental regulation of relational aggression. Adolescents believed regulation of cyber aggression to be more acceptable than regulation of relational aggression and personal domain behavior.

Parental monitoring of cyber behavior; adolescent development; cyber aggression
Author biography

Sara E. Goldstein

Sara E. Goldstein, PhD is an Associate Professor of Family and Child Studies at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey (USA). She earned her PhD from Bowling Green State University in Developmental Psychology, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. Her research focuses on social and social cognitive development during adolescence, with an emphasis on the development and implications of aggressive behavior in the context of peer and family relationships.

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