The effects of smartphone use on parenting
Parents may worry that spending time on their smartphones has a negative impact on their relationships with their children. However, a new comprehensive analysis published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found that this is unlikely to be the case.
In the analysis of data from 3, 659 parent-based surveys, the authors tested 84 different possibilities to assess whether smartphone use was associated with parenting, and they found little evidence. Accordingly, they explored whether the effect of phone use on parenting depended on whether it displaced time with family and was associated with family conflict.
At low levels of displacing time with family, more smartphone use was associated with better (not worse) parenting. The authors noted that, especially considering diverse family environments, smartphones play multiple roles in family life, and when not heavily impacting on family time, may have a positive role in parenting.
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