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How do Parents Communicate with their Adolescent Children in Shared Custody Households?

Bollag, Sophie (2021). How do Parents Communicate with their Adolescent Children in Shared Custody Households?. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Separation and divorce can be a difficult and disruptive transition for all members of the nuclear family requiring family members to adapt to new forms of interacting with one another. Parents with shared custody arrangements undoubtedly spend a significant amount of time away from their adolescent children, more so than in two-parent households. Thus, this research investigates how shared custody parents communicate with their adolescent children, both face-to-face and apart. In the 21stcentury, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) can be defined as thetechnological devices used by individuals as well as their corresponding applications and softwares (Rudi et al., 2014). ICTs are now a fundamental component of family communication therefore, communications technology is included in the research’s definition of communication and the research aims to understand how parents feel about using different communication platforms to communicate with their adolescent children. Twelve parents took part inin-depth, semi structured interviews to discuss their experience of communicating with their adolescent children in their shared custody homes. Parents were required to have shared custody, at least one adolescent child and a smartphone in order to take part in the research. Thematic Analysis was used throughout the research process, with Braun and Clarke’s (2013) step-by-step method being used to analyse the interviews. Four master themes emerged, each with several sub-themes. The master themes generated include:Communications technology sustains the parent-adolescent relationship; Live communication is irreplaceable; Communicating with a developing adolescent child; and Parents’ revaluation of their communication in light of their separation. These themes are examined and discussed within the study alongside links between the literature and the participants’ experiences. The research outlines the strengths and limitations of the study as well as proposing ideas for further research in addition to discussing the implications of the study on the field of Counselling Psychology.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Departments: Doctoral Theses
City, University of London (-2022) > School of Arts & Social Sciences
School of Arts & Social Sciences
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
[thumbnail of Sophie Bollag Redacted DPsych Thesis 02.22.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
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