BYU study finds social media can strengthen parent, teen relationships

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SALT LAKE CITY – Don’t be afraid to send your child a friend request on Facebook. It might actually help strengthen your relationship.

New research conducted by two Brigham Young University professors found that teenagers who are connected with their parents on social media feel closer to their parents in real life.

“You can do a lot on social networking sites,” said lead study author Sarah Coyne. “Your kid might post a picture, and you might show support by liking it or making a nice comment, or a status update that does the same kind of thing. It gives more opportunities to give positive feedback or show affection.”

Social networks, according to Coyne, give parents an intimate look into their child’s life.

“It lets parents know what their kids are going through, what their friends think is cool or fun, and helps them feel more connected to their child,” she says.

The report is published in the journal “Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.”