Intensive parenting – Perspectives on Parental Time and Mediation of Technology Use

Kutrovátz, Kitti (2022) Intensive parenting – Perspectives on Parental Time and Mediation of Technology Use. PhD thesis, Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem, Szociológia és Kommunikációtudomány Doktori Iskola. DOI

PDF : (dissertation)
PDF : (draft in English)
PDF : (az értekezés tézisei magyar nyelven)

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This thesis research explores how ideals about contemporary parenting shape parental time perceptions and the parental mediation of technology use. Previous literature demonstrates the changes of parenting that primarily concern the intensification, especially the extension and social inflation of the parental role. This parenting cultural script – namely, intensive parenting – provides the theoretical framework for this research. This study proposes that the patterns of parental time – especially the diverse approaches to quality time – and parental mediation of technology usage reflect contemporary parenting ideals. The inquiry intends to uncover the gender and social class differences in these parenting practices. Moreover, it aims to integrate the teenager’s voice into the debate about parental time and compare the parents‘ and children’s perspectives on their time together. The research utilizes a mixed-methods research approach. The quantitative part is based on data from a representative Hungarian quantitative survey – conducted in 2017 – including parent-child dyads. Additionally, the qualitative sample consists of 24 semi-structured interviews with parents of 12–16-year-old teenagers in Hungary in 2019. The study employs an explanatory sequential research design, where quantitative data dominate the analysis and the qualitative part provides more nuanced explanations. First, multivariate analyses were conducted using binary logistic regression models to analyse how diverse aspects of quality time and parental mediation relate to the subjective quality of parenting. The qualitative part of this study draws on thematic analysis following the definition of Braun and Clark (2006). The main findings of the thesis research can be summarized as follows: • The intensive parenting ideal shapes parental time in the way that spontaneous, focused time is highly appreciated among Hungarian parents and teenage children as well, while cultivating children’s talent does not comprise part of spending quality time with children. Enrichment activities might be counterproductive in terms of the subjective quality of parenting since they might result in conflict with teenagers who are striving for autonomy. • With regard to parental mediation and following the norms of intensive parenting, parents typically use a high level of control and a conscious mediation – with active mediation the desired form – and provide alternative and enriching programs to screen time to protect their children from harm and cultivate their development while fostering their autonomy and independence. However, restriction digital media use contradicts contemporary parenting values, since it does not enable self-regulation and discussions and threatens the child’s agency. Some patterns of active mediation that also reflected the features of intensive parenting were identified – such as the provision of expert guidance or constant negotiations. • Parents’ educational and income level and (typically in connection with these) their digital literacy and beliefs about technology significantly determine how they navigate their children’s technology use and the amount and quality of time they spend together. This study highlights the relevance of intensive parenting ideals among more educated and wealthier parents. The diverse results of spending parental time on weekend time according to social status point to the greater time deficit of lower status parents and the high expectations of parenting among higher status parents. The results of this thesis indicate that these practices are resource-demanding fields of parenting, and competencies and resources are unequally divided according to the social status of parents. • The findings show evidence that these practices are primarily maternal responsibilities – in other words, the high standard of intensive parenting involves mothers to a greater extent. Consequently, mothers are more concerned with the responsibility of parenting –for instance, with spending enough and sufficient (focused) time with their children and mediating – especially controlling – their media use. • The findings highlight the important features of quality time with adolescents – the latter value the attention they get from parents and no rushing of parental time. The teenagers’ different perception of time also underlines how much social expectations influence parenting behaviours.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD thesis)
Supervisor:Nagy Beáta, Király Gábor
ID Code:1229
Date:16 June 2022
Deposited On:25 May 2022 09:55
Last Modified:11 Jan 2023 10:42

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