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Larry Rosen: Professor Publishes Book on Parenting the Net Generation



Professor of psychology Larry Rosen; photo by GK

Larry Rosen: Professor Publishes Book on Parenting the Net Generation

Larry Rosen, professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills, has authored a book that examines the effects of technology on the social development of today’s children, including the emergence of MySpace, the omnipresent use of cell phones and text messaging, the rise of video games, the constantly playing iPod, and teenagers’ ability to multitask with all these technologies, often while doing their homework. Instead of focusing on the “moral panic” concerning predators and other negative aspects of social networking, “Me, MySpace, and I” takes a uniquely positive view of teen technology use and offers concrete tips for parents on successfully raising their technologically sophisticated pre-teens and adolescents.

“Today’s adolescents eat, breathe and consume technology in a way that no prior generation has done,” Rosen says. “Even if you are a technologically sophisticated parent, your children approach and use their technology differently. It is not a tool to them; it is their life. Rather than punishing them for their seeming overuse of technology, I show you how to use their techno-savvy to create a healthier and happier family environment without the constant battles that seem to always involve them saying ‘Just another minute, mom’.”

Published by Palgrave MacMillan, “Me, MySpace and I” is now available at bookstores. This is Rosen's third book. His previous well-received books also dealt with technology and its impact on our lives: "TechnoStress: Coping with Technology @Work @Home @Play," and "The Mental Health Technology Bible.”

For “Me, MySpace and I,” Rosen interviewed and surveyed more than a thousand MySpace teens and their parents, and looked at the way teens use MySpace and other technology and the fears and concerns parents have with their children’s virtual lives. In the book, Rosen provides a multi-level approach to help readers understand the way in which technology has changed teen socialization patterns across several generations and applies psychological theories to explain, in down-to-earth language, why today’s teens are drawn to technology in general, and social networking sites specifically. He also focuses on giving parents tools to help their children enjoy their multitasking technology, while staying safe and productive.

Interspersed throughout the book are strategies parents can use to become better informed about what their children are doing without alienating them and advice on balancing the child’s virtual and real-world lives through both proactive parenting (before any problems arise) and reactive parenting (in case problems have already happened).

Rosen has been studying the psychology of technology for more than 20 years and has interviewed thousands of people across the United States and dozens of other countries for his research. In addition to his books on the subject, he has authored numerous articles for professional journals, presented his findings at national and international conferences, and has been interviewed extensively in print and broadcast media — including “Good Morning America,” CNN, Newsweek, Time, and USA Today — for his expert opinions.

In addition to this recent research on MySpace, Rosen has also studied the impact of video games on children, online dating, and technology’s impact in the business world. He currently is doing research on multitasking and its effects on English literacy, and on preferences for peer versus expert reviews on the Internet.

Since 1976, Dr. Rosen has been a professor at CSUDH, where he has twice been named Outstanding Professor of the Year.

- Amy Bentley-Smith

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Last updated Monday, January 14, 2008, 4:29 p.m., by Joanie Harmon