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The Electronic Tether: Parental Regulation, Self-Regulation, and the Role of Technology in College Transitions

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One of the primary psychosocial tasks of the period of emerging adulthood is to become an autonomous, self-governing, self-regulating individual. Increased use of e-mail and cell phones, however, means that students enrolling in college directly out of high school are often electronically tethered to their parents, yet little is known about the influence of the frequency and content of this contact on student development during the transition to college and to adulthood. Using a web-based format for data collection, this study involved surveying students (n = 407) and their parents (n = 73) during the first two years of college. Most students communicate frequently and are satisfied with their level of communication. Those who are in the highest frequency of communication and whose parents are continuing to regulate their behavior and academics are the least autonomous and least satisfied with the college experience and their relationship with parents.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition is a semiannual refereed journal providing current research on the first college year and other significant student transitions. The primary purpose of the Journal is to disseminate empirical research findings on student transition issues that inform practice in all sectors of postsecondary education, such as explorations into the academic, personal, and social experiences (including outcomes related to success, learning, and development) of students at a range of transition points throughout the college years; transition issues unique to specific populations (e.g., non-traditional, traditional, historically underrepresented students, transfer students, commuters, part-time students); and explorations of faculty development, curriculum, and pedagogical innovations connected to college transitions.
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