Mobile Technology and Relationships with Caring Adults
Relationships with Caring Adults
Positive Youth Development (PYD)
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. College of Social Work Honors Theses; 2011
Positive youth development (PYD) is based on the notion that all adolescents have strengths that exist within their developmental system. One PYD strategy involves developing strengths within the various social systems (such as the family or school) that support adolescents. Strong relationships among youth and positive caring adults have been identified as important strengths in the field of PYD and within relational-cultural theory (Anderson-Butcher & Cash, 2011; Spencer et al., 2004; Lewin-Bizan, 2010). While significant research has been done looking at the value of relationships with caring adults, little research has examined how mobile technology plays a role in the development, nurturance, and maintenance of these relationships. One type of mobile technology used by adolescents is the cell phone. Cell phones are unique in that they allow for ongoing and instant interactions among adolescents and their social systems. Cell phone use is also increasingly common among adolescents (Lenhart, A., Ling, Cambell, & Purcell, 2010). Given the increasing relevance of mobile technology, the purpose of this study is to understand how cell phones are used by adolescents, in general, as well as in their relationships with caring adults. The study also examines the how adolescents’ relationships with caring adults and their cell phone interactions relate to adolescent scores of self-esteem and social competence.