By Corrie Wilder, Edward R. Murrow College of Communication
PULLMAN, Wash. – Two Washington State University researchers have been asked to join a nationwide Experiment.com crowdfunded project to help parents and teens communicate about romantic and sexual relationships.
“We’ve spent the last three years talking to youth across Washington state, and now we want to take what we’ve learned to help teach parents and teens how to better communicate,” said Stacey Hust, an associate professor in the WSU Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.
She and Kathleen Boyce Rodgers, a WSU associate professor of human development and prevention science, will draw on data collected from more than 100 Washington youth to develop narratives and discussion prompts aimed at helping parents and teens talk about difficult subjects.
“It’s an excellent opportunity for members of the public to get in on the ground floor of a project that has the potential to impact the lives of Washington state youth,” Hust said.
For example, young girls told Hust and Rodgers that they sometimes received unwanted sexual propositions on online social media sites. The girls felt they could not effectively stop such behavior, so disengaging from a social media app was the easiest, most effective tactic to eliminate the harassment.
“With the funding from our Experiment.com Adolescence Challenge Grant, we will develop a set of discussion prompts, including one focused on online sexual harassment, that will help parents and teens communicate and problem solve ways to address these challenges,” said Rodgers.
Experiment.com is a crowdsourcing platform for funding scientific discoveries. It is an “all-or-nothing” endeavor: each project must reach the funding target or no pledges are charged.
Anyone can support the Parent-Teen Communication Study by visiting https://experiment.com/projects/helping-parents-and-their-teens-talk-about-romantic-and-sexual-relationships.