Isaac Falcon-Campos, Ph.D.
Education: Bachelor of Science in psychology (August 2012)
Master of Science in family studies and human services from Kansas State University
Doctor of Philosophy in human ecology from Kansas State University
McNair Project: Parent-Adolescent Communication and Cell Phone Use (2012)
Mentor: Karen Myers-Bowman, Ph.D.
How does cell phone use affect parent-adolescent communication? To investigate this question, ten parent-adolescent dyads who have used cell phones for more than six months participated in 15-20 minute interviews consisting of open-ended questions about how they use cell phones to communicate. Transcripts of interviews were analyzed for main themes. In general, parents and their teenagers communicate by cell phone at least once a day, and text each other more than they call. They use it to communicate for practical reasons, safety/checking in with each other, and for fun. These devices help make the parents and adolescents available to each other, facilitate quick yet flexible response times, and allow parents to teach responsibility. However, they also face challenges of overuse (with friends), which can hinder parent-adolescent communication, and can lead to some miscommunication. The parents and teens provided recommendations for cell phone use.