[Air-l] where did you go, out; what did you do, nothing

Paul DiPerna pdiperna at blauexchange.org
Sun Jan 21 09:20:50 PST 2007

This thread is interesting..  

I admit not being very familiar with studies on teen behavior.  But a
few years ago I came across the following research, which offer
interesting surveys of teens:

Barbara Schneider and David Stevenson. (2000)  The Ambitious Generation.

  *Observes teens in the 50s and early 90s.

Laurence Steinberg. (1997)  Beyond the Classroom.

  *Observes teens in the mid-to-late 80s.

Conclusions in their research may not be as relevant when talking about
Millennials and how they interact with their parents today, however.. 
I can't remember how the surveys address child-parent interactions..

This question is for anyone on our list.. maybe to add more context for
the thread --

What are some recent/high-quality empirical studies addressing teen

How can these kinds of studies inform us about how current teens may use
the Web?

- Paul

Paul DiPerna
Blau Exchange
email: pdiperna at blauexchange.org
Online ID: http://claimid.com/pdiperna

 -------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Air-l] where did you go, out; what did you do, nothing
From: danah boyd <aoir.z3z at danah.org>
Date: Sun, January 21, 2007 4:49 am
To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
Cc: aoir list <air-l at aoir.org>

What do you mean by terrify their parents?  What are you referencing
when you say that most teens engage in this behavior?

I'm definitely seeing most American teens doing anything to avoid
scrutiny but that doesn't mean that their choices don't terrify their
parents.  Amongst the more protective parents, _anything_ their teen
does that is about social status management terrifies the parents.
This creates a pretty bad cycle of deception and attempts to hide
what's going on, much of which is "normal" teen behavior.  One thing
that is definitely at play is that there's a LOT more surveillance
going on.  Your teen-parent dialogue has been pretty much obliterated
because parents aren't allowing their teens out without a
justification... no justification, no going out.  Plus, the phone is
there as a constant leash.

I am, sadly, finding that some teens engage in some pretty heart-
wrenching activities to gain the attention of parents whose focus is
elsewhere.  This appears to cross SES.  In particular, i've seen self-
harm (primarily cutting) used for this purpose.  Anything to make
their parents pay attention to them...  These stories kill me.

I've also seen plenty of teens who are genuinely angry at their
parents (much of this seems to stem from divorce or violence between
the parents); their reaction to this can be self-destruction.  I
suspect that the reason for this is that the parents actually come
together over the kid so when the kid is in crisis.. this motivates
some teens to be in crisis.


On Jan 20, 2007, at 1:27 PM, Barry Wellman wrote:

> I am puzzled by the notion that most teens will do things to
> terrify their
> parents. Are there data on that? Or is it just autobiographical
> projection?
> Speaking autobiographically, and from a distance of 50 years, I
> suggest
> that most teens will try to avoid their parents' scrutiny.
> Terrifying them
> would only bring more scrutiny.
> "Where did you go?
> "Out.
> "What did you do?
> "Nothing."
> is the title, of a book about teen-parents relationships. By Robert
> Paul
> Smith.
> Published in 1959, which suggests that it was a general phenomenon
> then
> for my generation. And still in print, according to Amazon, which
> suggests
> some longterm relevance.
>  Barry Wellman, with fond memories for the Fordham Flames.
>  _____________________________________________________________________
>   Barry Wellman   S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology   NetLab Director
>   Centre for Urban & Community Studies          University of Toronto
>   455 Spadina Avenue    Toronto Canada M5S 2G8    fax:+1-416-978-7162
>   wellman at chass.utoronto.ca  http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman
>         for fun: http://chass.utoronto.ca/oldnew/cybertimes.php
>  _____________________________________________________________________
> _______________________________________________
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