Interrogating Youth’s Mobile Phone Approbation in the Construction of Family Communication in Mvita Sub County

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Daystar University, School of Communication


This study investigated the youth’s uses of mobile phones and how this use impacted on communication in the family. As an agent of socialization, the family is the custodian of values, beliefs and practices. The study examined the technology’s impact on youth’s everyday communication with their parents and the relationship between the use of mobile phones in the sustenance of family values and relationships in the family. Guided by the Symbolic Interactionism Theory which emphasizes that people’s behavior is based on personal social constructs, the study examined how selected individuals in Mvita Sub County in Mombasa County responded to the meanings they constructed as they interacted using mobile phones. Using the Phenomenology research design, the study purposively sampled 12 households comprising of 13 youth respondents and 15 parental figures who were subjected to in-depth interviews whose data was analyzed qualitatively. The findings revealed that most youth preferred mobile phone communication with their families demonstrating decreased desire for the face to face interaction. Most youth in this study revealed that they were freer in communicating with their parents on phone as opposed to face to face. A majority of the parents stated that mobile phones had a deleterious effect on family ways of life. The youth conveniently and deceptively used technology to an extent of generating certain negative interactive behaviors. The study diagnosed such negative behaviors from this disruptive technology as symptomatic of ‘Mobileosis’ which is characterized by a layered dialectical tension among the users-the entrapped enamored youths and their almost clueless parents who were silenced in expressing their disapproval of the impact of the phone usage practices.


Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Studies


Youth’s Mobile Phone Approbation, Family Communication, Mvita Sub-County, Mobile Phone, Family Values, Parent–youth relationships


Mwaringa, D. K. (2020). Interrogating Youth’s Mobile Phone Approbation in the Construction of Family Communication in Mvita Sub County. Daystar University, School of Communication: Nairobi