Date of Conferral







Jessica Hart


Social media has been linked to online crimes and cyberbullying among 88% of teens. The purpose of this study was to understand the role of adolescent and parent social media use on adolescents reported at-risk behaviors, as well as the role of social media among at-risk youths and their parents using the attachment theory. An interpretive phenomenological analysis design was used in this study to describe relationships between adolescents and their parents involving social media use and reported at-risk behaviors. Semi-structured interviews were performed with a total of six pairs of individuals resulting in 12 total participants. There were four female adolescents and two male adolescents, between the ages of 13 to 17. The ages of the parents were not applicable to this study and therefore were not collected. Data analysis resulted in three themes: encountering negativity on social media did not refrain from social media usage, misunderstanding between social media and technology caused challenges on parental monitoring, and quality of time spent together differed in the perception of the adolescent participants and parent participants. Findings of this research add to current literature involving social media and the impact it has on parent-adolescent relationships involving at-risk youth. Themes can help direct future research on this topic among all educators, parents, and all communities around the world to better understand the role of social media on adolescent-parent relationships. Understanding this can lead to positive social change through insights involving amount of time spent on social media and how it can negatively impact youths and parent-child relationships.