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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Publication Details

The electronic tether: Parental regulation, self-regulation, and the role of technology in college transitions


Author(s): Hofer, B. K.

Citation: Hofer, B. K. (2008). The electronic tether: Parental regulation, self-regulation, and the role of technology in college transitions. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 20(2), 9-24.

 

Abstract

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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