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25-06-2020 | Original Paper | Uitgave 10/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 10/2020

Parental Concerns about their School-aged Children’s Use of Digital Devices

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 10/2020
Marie Danet
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Mobile devices are widely used throughout parent–child routines and family life. Emerging research suggests several concerns about the effects of their use on children’s socio-emotional development. These concerns have led to a proliferation of prevention messages. The recommendations focus mainly on infants/preschoolers and adolescents, and very little on school-aged children. Despite growing concerns among health and childhood professionals, there are few studies regarding children’s use of digital devices focusing on the developmental period between 6 and 12 years of age. In order to frame guidelines for the use of digital devices in the home, it is important to know parents’ questions and/or difficulties arising from their use. The aim of this study was to question parents of school-aged children (6–12 years) regarding their fears, questions, and concerns relative to digital device use in the home and, more generally, raising children in a digital world. One hundred and forty-seven French parents responded to an anonymous online survey. The questions addressed school-aged children’s digital device use, parental concerns and parental experiences of the place of digital devices in the home. Parent’s reports of their children’s use of digital devices were analyzed as a function of their children’s age, gender, birth order and parent’s sociodemographic characteristics. Results showed that the use of screens by children is a source of concern for 53.1% of parents, while 62.6% of parents consider that the use of information and communication technology in the home affects (positively or negatively) their relationship with their child.

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