Grandparental Adoption of Modern Communication Technology and ...

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  • Title: Grandparental Adoption of Modern Communication Technology and Its Impact on Grandparent-Grandchild Relationships
  • Author(s): Mikiyasu Hakoyama, Eileen MaloneBeach
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Communication and Media Studies
  • Journal Title: The Journal of Communication and Media Studies
  • Keywords: Email, Cellphone, Texting, Communication, Frequency, Closeness
  • Volume: 3
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2470-9247 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2470-9255 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2470-9247/CGP/v03i04/21-38
  • Citation: Hakoyama, Mikiyasu, and Eileen MaloneBeach. 2018. "Grandparental Adoption of Modern Communication Technology and Its Impact on Grandparent-Grandchild Relationships." The Journal of Communication and Media Studies 3 (4): 21-38. doi:10.18848/2470-9247/CGP/v03i04/21-38.
  • Extent: 18 pages

Abstract

With rapid advancement of communication technology, almost every young adult utilizes email, cellphones, and texting. Modern communication technology (MCT) has become an indispensable device among young adults. However, it is unclear the extent to which older adults have adopted such MCT in their daily lives. Less is clear whether or not adoption of such MCT by grandparents has influenced their relationships with grandchildren. The current study, based on an IRB-approved online survey conducted at a midsize university in the Midwest United States of America, examined young adult grandchildren’s (N = 470) perceptions of their relationships with grandparents and how they may relate to grandparental use of MCT. Cellphones (71.7%) were most widely adopted by the participants’ grandparents, followed by email (42.6%); only 11.9 percent of the participants’ grandparents were texting users. Grandparental gender effects were revealed in their adoption of MCT. Path analysis, a form of structural equation modeling, revealed that the length of grandparental adoption of these devices positively predicted GP-GC communication frequency, which subsequently predicted GP-GC closeness. Implications of the findings are discussed.