Parenting is the reality of the generation gap?'”

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Last updated: December 19, 2019

Parentingis the act of giving of necessary support to a child for their physical,emotional, social, and cognitive development (Baydar, Akç?nar, & ?mer,2012).

Since modernization is a continuous process, raising a child in theperiod of modernization could be a challenging task as a parent due to the newlydeveloped technologies and scientific advances offered by the new millennia.The parents, now as the older generation, grew up in a different time period,lived in a different social-environment, and brought up with a different set ofvalues. They, as well as their parenting as they raise a child, should alsoadapt with the modern era. Parentshave a tremendous influence to their children, which will be the nextgeneration of adults. According to Dempsey, Kimicik & Horn (1993) thefamily unit, particularly the parents, is important for the development ofyoung children’s activity-related attitudes, beliefs, preferences, andbehaviors. The Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1977) proposed that youngindividuals learn through observing other people. Many researches wereconducted and support this view.

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Parents affect their children’s physicalactivity (Thompson, Flumbert, & Mirwald, 2003), academic values (Gniewoszand Noack, 2012), social adjustments ( D’Angelo, Weinberger, & Feldman,1995),  intergroup attitudes (Degner& Dalege, 2013), political and religious attitudes (Jennings, Stoker, , 2009) etc. Generationaltheory proposed that when people are born within a 20 year time period, have alocation in history, share common beliefs and behavior, and posses a sensemembership within the generational group, generational cohorts emerge (Strauss& Howe, 1991). Many researches concerning about the generational gap betweenparents and their adolescent or young adult children were conducted during the1960s and 1970s, although, the actual differences in beliefs and values betweenparents and their adolescent children were found to be minimal or insignificant(Jacobsen, Berry, & Olson, 1975).

Lamm and Meeks (2009) suggested that’differences can be generalized to the mean cohort level’ (p. 615).  In contrast, it is proposed that wrongquestions were being asked about generational differences (Acock and Bengtson,1980). According to Acock and Bengtson (1980), “Rather than ask, ‘To whatextent is the generation gap real?’ we ask, ‘Where is the reality of thegeneration gap?'” (p. 502). This question was pursued through research andyouth perceptions of parental attitudes, not the actual parent attitudes, weresurprisingly strong predictors of young adults’ self reported attitudes.

It is assumedthat the generation gap exists when perceived differences exist (Acock andBengtson, 1980).   Technology is an integral part of contemporaryfamily life (McHale, Dotterer, & Kim, 2009; Vogl-Bauer, 2003; Wartella& Jennings, 2001), which directed attention to generational differencesbetween parents and youth (Clark, 2009; Livingstone, 2003). The Millennialgeneration, born between 1980 and 2000 (Pew Research Center, 2010), whichincludes contemporary young adults, is proposed to be different and unique fromthe Baby Boomer generation (born between 1943 and 1960; Coomes & Debard,2004) and Generation X, born between 1961 and 1981, cohorts based not only onMillennials’ access to technology, but how they have integrated technology intotheir social lives (Pew Research Center, 2010). Researchshows notable differences in the usage of present technologies by younger andolder generations (Huffaker and Calvert 2005; Chung et al. 2010; Vodanovich,Sundaram, and Myers 2010). The younger generations prefer to use microblogging,social networking, and other technologies for interaction and communication,while older generations are more likely to use asynchronous tools, such asemails.

Younger generations usually use present technology for sharing personalexperiences, while older generations use it for sharing or discussing ideas. Further,generational differences in technological skills have been proposed, withMillennials experiencing more proficiency and comfort with technology thanprevious generations (Prensky, 2001). The differences between generationalcohorts have largely been based on anecdotal evidence and have been perpetuatedby popular media, but little empirical support for actual generationaldifferences has emerged in the literature (Litt, 2013). However, consistent withAcock and Bengtson’s (1980) conclusions in their generation gap research, a fewqualitative studies identified perceived generational differences in technologyskills between parents and their children (Clark, 2009; Livingstone, 2003).Modernizationis a comprehensive concept that illustrates the transition of a society fromancient to modern culture (Kumar & Mittal, 2014). According to Inkeles andSmith (1974) a  modern man are has thereadiness for new experience and openness to innovation and change, and thecapability of forming or holding opinions over large numbers of problems andissues that arise not only in immediate environment but also outside of it.

Thedevelopment and modernization of technology had made people’s life easier andcontributed positively to social well being so for while it has also broughtabout some problems (Krithika and Vasantha, 2013). Parents and their childrendo not belong in the same generation cohort resulting to a completely differentset of values and behaviors because they experienced different events duringtheir formative years (Howe & Strauss, 2003). This study aims to examine therelationship between parenting and modernization attitudes of Kapampanganparents. 

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