METHODS: Following informed consent, a total of nine families with 22 participants took part in the study including nine adolescents, aged between 14 and 16 y, and 13 parents. One-on-one in-depth interviews were conducted at their homes following informed consent. Following transcription, the data was coded and themes were identified using Atlas.ti software. A grounded theory approach was undertaken in analysing the data.
RESULTS: Two main themes were identified including perceptions of parental involvement in the lives of their adolescent children and family strategies to improve bonding. Adolescents' concerns centered on reduced interaction time with their family members. Concerns were also raised over the adolescents' increasing academic burden and parents particularly emphasized the increasing use of media and mobile technology by adolescents as deterrents to interaction. Though mothers functioned as primary caregivers, fathers also took on more active roles in the rearing of their children, stepping away from the traditionally viewed role of being a distant patriarchal provider. To improve interaction, parents devised creative strategies to increase time spent interacting with family members such as having dinner, performing household chores, playing games, or visiting places together.
CONCLUSIONS: The increasing academic burden and access to digital media were perceived as factors leading to reduced interaction between the parent-adolescent dyad. Creative parenting strategies to increase interaction were sought as a solution.