Psychological underpinnings of intrafamilial computer-mediated communication: A preliminary exploration of CMC uptake with parents and siblings

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Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking


This preliminary study investigates the uptake of computer-mediated communication (CMC) with parents and siblings, an area on which no research appears to have been conducted. Given the lack of relevant literature, grounded theory methodology was used and online focus group discussions were conducted in an attempt to generate suitable hypotheses for further empirical studies. Codification of the discussion data revealed various categories of meaning, namely: a perceived inappropriateness of CMC with members of family of origin; issues relating to the family generational gap; the nature of the offline sibling/parent relationship; the non-viability of online affordances such as planned self-disclosure, deception, identity construction; and disinhibition in interactions with family-of-origin members. These themes could be molded into hypotheses to assess the psychosocial limitations of CMC and to determine if it can indeed become a ubiquitous alternative to traditional communication modes as some scholars have claimed. © Copyright 2011, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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Author First name, Last name, Institution

Valerie Priscilla Goby, Zayed University