A recent research article published in the journal Pediatric Research looks at the effects of "technoference" (defined as digital/mobile technology use that interrupts interpersonal relationships) in a parent-child relationship. Here are some interesting findings from the study that looked at technoference in 183 couples & their children over a 6-month period:
- 55.5% of mothers and 43.0% of fathers reported having two or more technology devices that interrupt activities with their child on a daily basis.
- Higher technoference in both mothers and fathers was associated with greater child behavioural problems, including behaviours directed to the external environment (e.g., tantrums, emotional reactivity, etc.) and behaviours focused inward (e.g., anxiety, withdrawal, etc.).
- Authors found that greater technoference predicted greater child behavioural problems but on the other hand, that greater child behavioural problems predicted greater parental stress, which in turn predicted technoference.
This study shows that technology can have an impact on the parent-child relationship - either helping parents cope with stressful situations that arise from a child's behavioural problems or possibly even contributing to a child's behavioural problems. What are your thoughts on the interplay of technology use and parenting?