Young adults may interact on Facebook in ways that makes them feel vulnerable about parental Facebook friend requests. This study utilizes Communication Privacy Management theory as a framework to investigate how young adult Facebook users respond to parental Facebook friend requests. Overall, 235 individuals completed an online survey. Results confirmed that users tend to accept parental Facebook friend requests from both parents and make few restrictive privacy rule adjustments when contemplating the requests. However, request decisions for mothers varied in conjunction with family privacy orientation, parent-child relationship quality, and parent-child trust, but not for fathers. These results suggest that young adults do not experience a privacy dilemma when contemplating parental connections on Facebook. Implications of the study are explored, including how power differentials inherent in the parent-child relationship may be impacting young adults' perceived ability to decline such requests. Future research examining other familial conversations about social media practices is highlighted.
Journal of Family Communication
Child, Jeffrey T.; Westermann, David A. (2013). Let's Be Facebook Friends: Exploring Parental Facebook Friend Requests from a Communication Privacy Management (CPM) Perspective. Journal of Family Communication 13(1) 46-59. doi: 10.1080/15267431.2012.742089. Retrieved from https://oaks.kent.edu/commpubs/36