Impact of parents mobile device use on parent-child interaction: A literature review

This review attempts to provide an overview of parents’ mobile device distractions while caring for their children and the implications of this distraction on parent-child relationships. This review was conducted on literature published through November 2016, 27 sources were identified. Overall the continual connection provided by phones combined with the social pressure to respond quickly to calls/messages is leading to increased use and reliance on mobile devices. This increases the potential for parents’ mobile devices use to disrupt parent-child interactions. Parents who use their phones during parent-child interactions are less sensitive and responsive both verbally and nonverbally to their children’s bids for attention, potentially leading to lower quality parent-child interactions. Children engage in risky attention-seeking behaviors, which may be connected to the increase in childhood injuries. Parents and children express concern over device use as well as its contribution to family conflicts. This review also discusses gaps in the existing literature and proposes directions for future research.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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