An Exploratory Investigation of Secondary Socialization: How Adult Children Teach Their Parents to Use Technology
Charles D. Bodkin, Cara Peters, Christie Amato

This paper examines secondary socialization processes as adult children (i.e., college students) teach their parents/guardians about technology. Informants were asked to write an essay about how they taught their parent/guardian to use a computer. Data were analyzed and interpreted according to the protocol for phenomenology. The adult children utilized three teaching strategies (modeling, reinforcement, and simplification) in socializing their parents. The study also identified social dynamics that took place during the secondary socialization process. The contribution of the study lies in examining secondary socialization processes, as opposed to the content of learning. Specifically, the study identifies three unique teaching styles utilized by the adult children and highlights the frustration that can take place during the secondary socialization process. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

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