Digital technology and families

Nancy A. Jennings, Ellen Ann Wartella

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


Over the years, many of the triumphs and struggles of families have remained the same. Generation after generation, babies are still attached to their mothers, and teens still yearn for their independence. While some things remain the same, changes in society place new constraints on the family process. Within the past three decades, we have seen an incredibly rapid growth in digital technologies in forms of mechanical advances in computers and cell phones and in the development of mechanisms for communication through social networking and entertainment through smartphone Apps. Although we are learning more about what role these digital technologies have in the lives of children and adults, we also must learn how these technologies are affecting family relationships and family life. This chapter will discuss the research on digital media technology on families. We will explore family systems through the life course and encounter how different technologies impact family life at different stages from infanthood to adolescence. We will find general conclusions regarding the impact of digital technologies on family life and provide suggestions for further research in the field of media and family studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Family Communication
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781136946370
ISBN (Print)9780415881982
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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