"It's come around way too quickly!" Can technology help parents provide support during menarche?

in DIS 2022, Conference paper (text)


Menarche is an important milestone and time of transition, where children and adolescents need information and support. Parents provide significant support, but barriers such as parents' own lack of confidence and information interfere. Existing technology for menstrual health is not always appropriate or accessible to younger adolescents and children. We ran two studies: Study1, an interview and design study explored how parents support children for menarche, their use of technology for this, and to understand the gaps. Study2 evaluated a design concept based on Study1, to gain further insights. Our findings show that menarche is an emotional time for parents and children; parents provide support and shared sensemaking but there is space for technology in providing scaffolding for parents to provide further support. However, there is a balance between sharing or support and privacy or control that needs to be negotiated between parents and children. We conclude with some reflections.