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A Comparative Study between the Views of Parents and Children on the Impact of Technology on Family Relations

In Partial Fulfillment for the Requirements For FAMIPOP

Submitted to: Sir Melvin Jabar Ms. Karen So

Submitted by: Avecilla, Abigail Bello, Rafael Eloy Choa-Shi, Vashti Cueto, Maria Anna Isabela Gahol, Fatima Gail Tamina, Katrina Isabel November 2012

I.

Introduction Technology has surely outdone itself. One could not imagine how these products of

mans imagination, how these gadgets and gizmos have been given life. Now, it seems almost impossible not to see anyone without a phone, or two. These things help us in every possible way. They bridge us into a better, more entertaining and more fun life. They make our everyday jobs easier than we could imagine. And not only that, they are also made to fit our personality, our life. Somehow, these technological breakthroughs that have been once a mere thought of men have become our best friends. People simply could not live without them. Saying that times have changed is an understatement. The change that technology has caused is more drastic from what can imagine. Though simply put, it changed lives. From the way people do things, to the relationship they have with others, technology has affected every part of their lives, both in a good way and in a bad way. One of the causes of technology in their lives is the way they communicate with others. The availability of the fastest, newest, only-a-click-away technology have somewhat reduced the use of traditional way of communication which is...do you still remember? Yes, its called face-to-face conversations. Peoples faces are literally glued to their devices because with just a click, they could talk to their friend who is from another country. They could also store as much as a thousand songs, books and games in a palm-sized device, grabbing almost all of their attention for hours. And dont even start with what the World Wide Web could offer. So really, who has time for a conversing with a friend or a family member when technology has practically made everything possible?

Generation Y, the younger generation, have become heavily immersed into the digital world and the use of these devices has affected their mental and social health in numerous ways.

The way technology has affected the later or younger generations is nothing compared to the impact it brought to these people from the Generation Y. They grew with the change. They were able to adapt better than the other generations. But in that line of thought, how did their way of adaptation affect their relationships with the other generations? The older generations, the generation who are more familiar with the traditional ways of communication, of entertainment and of doing work, are their relationship with the Gen Y been affected? Are there changes? Relationships among family members are the best example in relation to this matter. And with the impact of technology, surely, there should have been changes with the way they interact with each other, or are there?

II.

Significance of the Study Technology has become a part of peoples everyday life in communicating with others,

accomplishing tasks and spending leisure time. It makes things easier, faster, and more convenient. But from the way it changed the lives of many, surely there are also side effects when it comes to the way people interact with others. This study would help the group, as well as those who would be reading this paper, understand the impact of technology on family relationships, how it changes family mechanisms and up to what extent it can offer family members. III. Problem Statement To what extent does technology change the family mechanism?

IV.

Objectives

This research aims to know what negative and positive impacts or effects of technology to family relationships are, to both parents and children. It also aims to compare the point of view of parents as well as students regarding the impact of technology in their family relationships.

V.

Methodology

Survey Respondents A total of 60 respondents participated in the study. 30 of which are parents and the other half are students. Since the study aims to have a comparative view on the perspective of parents and college students, two online surveys were prepared for each of the target group. Respondents were chosen through convenience sampling through different networking sites particularly Facebook. Student respondents are from De La Salle University from ages 16-22 years old. On the other hand, 30 parents under the premise of having sons and/or daughters who are in college were asked to answer the survey. The group of respondents are part of the ABC social classes. Data Gathering Data were gathered from the online survey results. Respondents were given a link where they can view the online survey. The survey link for students were solely distributed to students only and the same goes to the survey link for the parents hence it can be quantified that results gathered were all from the right group of respondents. Each survey that was answered automatically sinks into an online database that automatically tabulates the answer of the respondents. The result of the survey answered by the students and the parents has its own database therefore making the sorting and tabulation of the results more efficient.

Respondents were asked to answer questions that would measure their attachment to gadgets as well as questions that would help the researchers quantify their relationship with their family. There were also questions about the impact of technology in their family. After all the results were gathered, the database was transferred to Microsoft Excel and SPSS for it to be analyzed. The respondents double-check each response in all each entry in the database to ensure that no error was made and that data were all correct and accurate.

VI.

Scope and Limitations For the survey, a total of sixty (60) respondents were able to participate in the study.

Thirty (30) of which are parents and the other thirty (30) are students. Because the group needed to get half of the survey from the parents and another half from the students, the gathering of the respondents was done by method of quota sampling. The parent respondents are from ages 35 to 60. The student respondents are students of De La Salle University-Manila aged 17-21 years old. There is no specification that there is a relationship between the parents and the students. The study will cover gadgets that are source of entertainment, communications, social media, etc. Examples of which are iPods, iPads, smart phones, gaming consoles, laptops, desktops and televisions.

VII.

Results Through the survey conducted, the relationship between the emergence of technology and

the relationship within the family was measured. The survey results show that spending more time with ones gadgets instead of family members does affect ones relationships within the family for both parents and students. Frequently using gadgets has both positive (e.g. a way of communication and bonding) and negative (e.g. spending more time with gadgets than with

family) effects to family relationships. Spending more hours using gadgets will likely affect relationships within the family, according to parents. This is why some of them impose a specific time for their children to use their gadgets. However, students views are the opposite. For them, spending more time using gadgets does not necessarily mean that relationships within the family will be affected negatively. Since some students dont live with their parents, they use their gadgets to communicate and share with them. Both sets of respondents still spend quality time with their family, even if they use gadgets. Majority of the respondents still bond with their family by eating together, watching TV, going to mass, and going shopping at malls. Both parents and students who are most likely affected by technology, especially negatively, agree that family relationships would be better without gadgets. Correlation of variables:

Using Gadgets Affects Relationship with Family vs. Time Spent with Gadgets is more than Time Spent with Family Parents Correlation 0.10387045 Students 0.138342893 Overall 0.130829299

Interpretation

There is a weak positive relationship. Those who think that using gadgets affects ones relationship with the family do not necessarily spend more time with gadgets than his/her family.

Using Gadgets Affect Relationship with Family vs. Hours Spent Using Gadgets

Parents Correlation Interpretation 0.034873703

Students -0.191565257

Overall 0.004385164

There is no relationship between the number of hours spent using gadgets and believing that using gadgets would affect ones relationship with the family. One may believe that using gadgets do not affect ones relationship with the family although he/she spends many hours with gadgets.

Number of Gadgets Frequently Used vs. Quality Time is Spent with Family

Parents Correlation Interpretation 0.171000693

Students 0.270940895

Overall 0.211354246

There is a weak positive relationship. Though the respondents use many gadgets, they still make sure they spend quality time with their family.

Using Gadgets Affect Relationship with Family vs. Believe that Relationship with Family could be Better without Technology

Parents Correlation Interpretation 0.150755672

Students 0.300668897

Overall 0.218165116

There is a weak positive relationship. Those who think using gadgets affect their relationship with the family do not necessarily believe that their relationship could be stronger/better without technology.

Number of Gadgets Used vs. Number of Hours Using Gadgets

Parents Correlation Interpretation 0.312037119

Students 0.223166771

Overall 0.298440711

There is a weak positive relationship. One may have a lot of gadgets but one does not necessarily use them for more hours than those who have only a few gadgets.

Number of Hours Using Gadgets vs. Number of Purposes for Using Gadgets

Parents Correlation Interpretation 0.524415095

Students 0.049135452

Overall 0.472005127

There is a moderate positive relationship for the parents and overall correlation, but no relationship for the students. For parents, having more purposes for using gadgets would mean more hours of using them. For students, social media alone, for example, could use up 8 hours of their time. They dont need to have many purposes to use their gadgets for many hours.

Familiarity with Family Members Gadgets vs. Believe that Using Gadgets would Affect Family Relationships

Parents Correlation Interpretation 0.44320263

Students -0.133630621

Overall 0.168505093

There is a moderate positive relationship for the parents and weak relationships for students and overall correlation. Whether or not one is familiar with the gadgets his/her family members are using, ones family relationship may still be affected by gadgets.

Having Gadget Curfews vs. Believe that Using Gadgets would Affect Family Relationships

Parents Correlation Interpretation -0.558416936

Students -0.049029034

Overall -0.349647079

There is a moderate negative relationship for the parents, almost no relationship for students and a weak negative relationship for overall correlation. For the parents, although they do not give gadget curfews, they may still be affected by the use of gadgets. For students, not having gadget curfews does not necessarily mean that their family relationships are affected by the use of gadgets.

Living with Family vs. Believe that Using Gadgets would Affect Family Relationships

Parents Correlation Interpretation -0.236524958

Students 0.176776695

Overall -0.02484472

There is a weak relationship for the parents and for students and almost no relationship for overall correlation. Whether one lives with his/her family or not, ones family relationship may still be affected by the use of gadgets.

VIII.

Theoretical Framework In our study we will use the Family Systems theories to study the effects of key factors in

family relations. Any systems is defined as abounded set of interrelated elements exhibiting coherent behavior as a trait (Constantine 1986). This theory will help us, if there will be an impact and to what extent of an outside variable technology will affect family relationships. Family Systems theory frames research questions and guide analysis. Family systems theory conceptualizes the family as a dynamic, self-regulating system characterized by transactional patterns and processes that regulate relationships among members and with its environment (Rodgers & White, 1993). The theory is implying that elements and structure are interrelated to one another. The elements of a system are the members of the family. Each elements has own characteristics and difference of level in terms of the relationship of each family member, while the structure must be the total interrelationships among the elements. It is a philosophy that searches for the causes of behavior, not in the individual alone, but in the interactions among the members of a group. The basic rationale is that all parts of the family are interrelated (Allen, Cornelius & Lopez, 2007). Family has properties of its own that can be known only by looking at the relationships and interactions among all members. The family systems also interact in patterns. There are predictable patterns of interaction that emerge in a family system. These repetitive cycles help maintain the familys equilibrium and provide clues to the elements about how they should function (Winter, 2001). The characteristics of family systems such as different roles of the family members, external and internal boundaries, family rules, power distribution among the members and the communication process will help us understand how each family differs and how it might affect the qualitative data that we have gathered. It is important to look in these characteristics because family systems theory is a theory of human behavior that views

the family as an emotional unit and uses systems thinking to describe the complex interactions in the unit. It is the nature of a family that its members are intensely connected emotionally. By this framework, we can understand and identify if our qualitative results match the theory and assumptions regarding Family relations. The family system theory will enable us to assume the relationship of family to the whole system such as: 1. Family structure consists of the descriptive characteristics of the family. This includes the nature of its membership and its cultural and ideological style. These characteristics are the input into the interactional system. They are the resources and the perception of the world that shape the way in which the family interacts. 2. Family interaction is the hub of the system. It is the process of interaction among family members that determines the rules by which the family is governed. This is the family's level of cohesion, its adaptability, and its communication style. Finally, these interactions work together to serve individual members and collective family needs. 3. Family function is the output of the interactional system. Utilizing the resources available through its structure (input), the family interacts to produce responses that fulfill its needs. 4. The family life cycle introduces the element of change into the family system. As the family moves through time, developmental and non-developmental changes alter the family structure and/or the family's needs. These, in turn, produce change in the way the family interacts (Allen, Cornelius & Lopez, 2007).