Parents’ phone addiction may lead to child behavioural problems

Study suggests that when parents report being distracted by digital technology, this causes interruptions in interactions with their children. | story via The Guardian

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A recent study investigated the impact of “technoference” – when people switch their attention away from others to check their phone or tablet.

The study, carried out in the US, involved more than 300 parents who reported on their use of digital technology, to see if they felt it affected interactions with their children and actual child behaviours. A range of technology devices were studied, including smartphones, computers, television and tablets.

It found half of parents reported that their use of technology disrupted interactions with their child three or more times a day. Behavioural problems in children were linked to these disruptions.

Key findings:

  • On average, mothers and fathers reported about two devices as interfering in their interactions with their child at least once or more on a typical day.
  • Parents reporting problematic use of digital technology (40% of mothers and 32% of fathers) was correlated with technoference with their child.
  • Perceived technoference in mother-child interactions was linked to child behavioural problems – both externalising and internalising behaviour – as rated by mothers and fathers.
  • However, perceived technoference in father-child interactions was not linked to behavioural issues.
  • Only 11% of parents reported that technoference did not occur and 48% reported three or more times on a typical day.

Read more via The Guardian

Full reference: McDaniel BT, Radesky JS. Technoference: Parent Distraction With Technology and Associations With Child Behavior Problems. Child Development. Published online May 10 2017

 

 

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