The role of digital status in adult child–parent relationships in European comparative perspective

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Bence Völgyi Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Pécs, Hungary

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Katalin Füzér Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Pécs, Hungary

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Fruzsina Albert HUN-REN Centre for Social Sciences and Semmelweis University, Hungary

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Dávid Erát Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Pécs, Hungary

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The increasing significance of technology-mediated social interactions gives rise to optimistic expectations that digitalisation leads to various overwhelmingly positive outcomes in all walks of life. Our study relies on the European Social Survey 10th wave data (2020–22) to investigate the role of digital status in the relationship between adult children and parents in 30 countries. We found media multiplexity in adult child–parent relationships to be coupled in interesting and partly counterintuitive ways with our novel measure of digital status that captures digital skills and the outcomes of ICT use. The country-specific binary logistic regression models revealed that digital skills and the emotional benefits of ICT use have a central role in using new and old technologies, whereas a positive practical outcome of ICT use decreased the frequency of adult child–parent contact. By shaping the opportunities of doing family digitally, the skills and outcomes aspects of digital status have independent roles in a key segment of intergenerational relationships of adult family members.

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Bence Völgyi Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Pécs, Hungary

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Katalin Füzér Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Pécs, Hungary

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Fruzsina Albert HUN-REN Centre for Social Sciences and Semmelweis University, Hungary

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Dávid Erát Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Pécs, Hungary

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