Digital Family Life: A Systematic Review of the Impact of Parental Smartphone Use on Parent-Child Interactions

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Published May 26, 2020
Barbara Knitter Martina Zemp

Abstract

Smartphone use among parents is rising sharply, as they seek connectedness with partners, friends and work during the sometimes detached times of parenthood. Since parents increasingly use smartphones while interacting with their children, there is growing research about the implications of parental smartphone for parent-child interactions. However, previous reviews have not examined whether the effects of parental smartphone use on parent-child interactions vary depending on children’s age. Additionally, no systematic review has summarized the potential benefits of parents’ smartphone use for parent-child interactions. Therefore, the goals of this systematic review were (1) to explore the role of children’s age in the link between parental smartphone use and parent-child interactions and (2) to summarize potential benefits of parental smartphone use for parent-child interactions. Following PRISMA guidelines, a total of k = 21 papers met all eligibility criteria and were included in this review. Results gest noteworthy effects of parental smartphone use on parent-child interactions across all age groups, but the foci and outcomes of the studies differed between them. Benefits were mostly perceived when people where relaxed and enjoying themselves, but only a few studies have focused on the potential positive impact of parental smartphone use on parent-child interactions. The review provides an overview about future areas of research to explore how smartphone changes family interactions. Families have to find adequate ways of dealing with new technology in everyday life, which inevitably affects the nature of their daily interactions.

How to Cite

Knitter, B., & Zemp, M. (2020). Digital Family Life: A Systematic Review of the Impact of Parental Smartphone Use on Parent-Child Interactions. Digital Psychology, 1(1), 29-43. https://doi.org/10.24989/dp.v1i1.1809

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Article Details

Keywords

parental mobile phone use, parent-child relationship, parenting, technoference, digital media

Section
Review article