The Impact of Parents “Friending” Their Young Adult Child on Facebook on Perceptions of Parental Privacy Invasions and Parent–Child Relationship Quality


Corresponding author: Tamara Afifi; e-mail:


This study examined whether a parent “friending” his/her child on influenced the parent–child relationship and perceptions of parental privacy invasions. One hundred and eighteen parent–young adult child dyads were randomly assigned to an experimental group where the parent was asked to create a Facebook account, “friend” his/her child, and use the account over 2 months or a control group where the parent did not have a Facebook account. Having a parent on Facebook did not result in perceptions of greater privacy invasions, but was associated with decreased conflict in the parent–child relationship. When the parent and child had a more conflicted relationship prior to the parent joining Facebook, the parent's presence on Facebook also enhanced the child's closeness with the parent.