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Parenting Through the Digital Revolution 

Parenting Through the Digital Revolution
Parenting Through the Digital Revolution

Andrew B. Clark

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date: 13 June 2021

The interface between adolescent sexual behavior and technology use presents a range of complex dilemmas for parents. The so-called “digital divide” (Palfrey & Gasser, 2008) refers to the fact that teens typically have a more sophisticated grasp of these technologies than their parents, and this technology-driven generation gap introduces additional tensions. Child psychologists and psychiatrists are routinely asked to provide parent guidance, so there is a great need for an evidence-base perspective on these topics to inform an appropriate clinical response. This chapter will provide an overview of parenting topics regarding adolescents’ use of technology and sexual behavior for a broad audience (e.g., mental health professionals, parents, educators, attorneys). Topics include the importance of parents developing a rudimentary Internet literacy; the role of parental monitoring, supervision, and restriction, including research on the utility of Internet monitoring software (e.g., “net nannies”); and recommendations derived from the current empirical literature on communication with teens about sexual behavior, both online and offline.

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