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Social Psychology and Society

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 2221-1527

ISSN (online): 2311-7052


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published since 2010

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal


Information and communication technologies and family relations: harm or benefit? 483


Dubrov D.I.
PhD in Psychology, Researcher Fellow, International Laboratory for Socio-Cultural Research, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

Objectives. Summarizing the results of research on the impact of information and communication technologies on family social capital. Background. In recent years, public and scientific discourse has constantly raised questions about how modern information and communication technologies (ICT) af¬fect interpersonal relations and family relations in particular. Studies on the impact of information and communication technologies on family social capital show conflicting results. Conclusions. Conventionally, the results of these studies can be combined around four hypotheses: 1) “Displacement hypothesis” — ICT displace direct interaction between family members and reduce the level of social capital in the family; 2) “Activation hypothesis” — ICT on the contrary contribute to the development and maintenance of relations between family members; 3) “Enrichment hypothesis” — families with inherently strong bonds and social resources benefit even more from the use of ICTs in terms of social interaction, and in families with inherently weak bonds, they will be further weakened by the use of ICTs; 4) “Social compensation hypothesis” — ICT is a kind of copping strategy that allows an individual to cope with stress due to family conflicts, low social capital, as well as to develop social interaction skills and create strong social ties for those individuals who initially did not develop these relations due to external (disability, etc.) and personal reasons (isolation, introversion, etc.). Each of the distinguished hypotheses is considered in more detail.

Keywords: information and communication technologies, digital technologies, family social capital, child-parent relations, social connections

Column: Theoretical Research


Funding. The reported study was funded by RSF, project number 19-18-00169.

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