Connecting through multiple channels benefits parent-adult child relationships

Posted on October 29, 2014

Jennifer Schon, a doctoral student in communication studies, found that adult children's relationship satisfaction with their parents is modestly influenced by the number of communication tools, such as cell phones, email, social networking sites, that they use to communicate.

A lot of parents might resist new technologies. They don't see the point in them, or they seem like a lot of trouble. But this study shows while it might take some work and learning, it would be worth it in the end if you are trying to have a good relationship with your adult child.

Schon said a parent's basic communication competency, in other words, their ability to get a message across effectively and appropriately, is the best indicator for how happy the child is in the relationship. Parents who are already strong communicators won't see much of a difference by adding another way to communicate. Parents who were seen as poor communicators benefited the most from adding another communication tool.

In particular, Schon's research points to fathers who tend to use fewer channels of communication and communicate less frequently and for shorter amounts of time.

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Source material from Medical News Today


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