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U of M researchers release 'Parenting 2.0' research study

Media Contact: Catherine Dehdashti, U of M Extension, (612) 625-0237, ced@umn.edu


ST. PAUL, Minn. (6/27/2012) —University of Minnesota researchers have released a new research study that helps explain how and why parents use information and communications technologies. Called "Parenting 2.0," the project findings will be used to develop outreach programs and new prevention and intervention programs for parents and families.

Jodi Dworkin, University of Minnesota Associate Professor and Extension family relations specialist, co-directed the research with Susan Walker, Associate Professor, both in the Department of Family Social Science.

"These data provide important information about how educators can best deliver programs to parents," Dworkin said. "There hasn't been much research about how parents use technology specifically for parenting or how this behavior differs for different demographic groups. This research fills these gaps."

Some highlights from the study results include:

  • The majority of parents agreed or strongly agreed that technology makes their life easier; however, almost one-third reported feeling overloaded by technology.
  • Parents living in rural areas reported participating in online classes and workshops more frequently than suburban parents. Urban parents reported reading blogs and using Twitter more frequently than both suburban and rural parents.
  • Mothers go online for parenting-related information and parenting-related social networking more often than fathers, but fathers said they use Skype and instant messaging for parenting more frequently than mothers.
  • Older parents report less overall use of technology devices and the Internet than younger parents.
  • Parents who did not graduate from college reported reading parenting news and using social networking sites for parenting significantly more than parents who graduated from college.

To read the Parenting 2.0 summary report, visit http://z.umn.edu/parenttech.


Source: Jodi Dworkin, family relations specialist with U of M Extension, jdworkin@umn.edu.

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