Dr. Michael J. Merten, OSU-Tulsa associate professor of Human Development and Family Science, and Amanda Williams, OSU-Tulsa graduate student, recently received the Outstanding Paper Award for 2011 at the 103rd Annual Conference of the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) in Indianapolis.
Merten and Williams presented "iFamily: Internet and Social Media Technology in the Family Context," with data collected from the Pew Internet & American Life Project's Networked Families. The paper examined the results of two studies examining the impact of social media sites on families. The results of the first study suggested that social media technology has the potential to strengthen family bonds. However, the second study suggested that when adolescents were exposed to a greater number of online activities and parents spent more time using the Internet at work, teenagers were at risk for contact from strangers and cyberbullying.
The award highlights original research with the potential to make a lasting contribution to the field of family and consumer sciences. Twenty-six papers were published by the journal in 2011.
The award was presented by Dr. Sharon DeVaney, editor of the Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal. The journal publishes original research in all areas of family and consumer sciences. AAFCS provides leadership and support to family and consumer science professionals in education, research, business, and not-for-profit organizations.