Enabling Digital Parenting Interventions to Promote Empathic Partnerships among Parents, Educators, and Adolescents Targeting School Refusal

Anna Smout, Dharshani Tharanga Chandrasekara, Ling Wu, Glenn Melvin, Joshua Paolo Seguin, Patrick Olivier, Mairead Claire Cardamone-Breen, Tom Bartindale, Roisin McNaney, Marie B.H. Yap

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


School refusal is a complex issue which typically develops in adolescence, often in the context of anxiety and depressive disorders. While parents and educators play a critical role in supporting these adolescents, they need guidance to work together to overcome the problem. Our study explores how technology can be designed to help parents and educators work together in supporting adolescents who refuse school. We first conducted 14 interviews with parents which highlighted that empathic understanding and communication between parents and the educators is key to supporting adolescents with school refusal. Subsequently, we conducted co-design workshops with three parents, three adolescents and five educators. Our workshop findings show that reactive and problem-focused communication can undermine trust-building and progress towards supporting the adolescent. Drawing on these findings, we formulate design implications that can enable empathic parent-adolescent-educator partnerships, provide holistic support for parents, and facilitate individual tailoring for diverse parent-adolescent journeys.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI '23
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
EditorsAlbrecht Schmidt, Kaisa Väänänen, Tesh Goyal, Per Ola Kristensson, Anicia Peters, Stefanie Mueller, Julie R. Williamson, Max L. Wilson
Place of PublicationNew York, US
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450394215
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes
Event2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2023 - Hamburg, Germany
Duration: 23 Apr 202328 Apr 2023


Conference2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2023

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