Separated parents and the dark side of IT

Divorced parents are making use of technology in order to manipulate their ex-partners, new research has suggested. The study, from the University of Missouri (MU), found separated mums and dads are increasingly communicating with each other through social media, emails and texting.

According to the findings, children suffer the most when their parents use this technology to withhold information from one another or use certain information for their own gains.

Lawrence Ganong, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at MU, discovered mothers and fathers who do not see eye-to-eye often turn to texting and social media to avoid confrontation and control the access their former partner has to their child.

Professor Ganong noted: "Technology makes it easier for divorced couples to get along - and it also makes it easier for them not to get along."

He added those who still have a good relationship might use all modern conveniences to make it easier for them to successfully act as co-parents, which leads to a less stressful environment for the child.

Chartered Psychologist Dr Jack Boyle comments: "Technology allows the parents to communicate without face to face contact or talking to each other. That can be a good thing but the technology can also be used to bully or intimidate. Technology is neutral – it depends how you use it. "