Knowledge and Resource Hub
01 August 2019

Parents’ use of mobile computing devices, caregiving and the social and emotional development of children: A systematic review of the evidence

This paper reports the findings of a review of research investigating the  potential harms and benefits of parents’ mobile device use for parental caregiving, the parent-child relationship, and young children’s social and emotional development. There were only a small number of studies, of variable methodological quality but there was evidence of associations between parents’ mobile device use, attention to caregiving and changes in child behaviour. There was evidence that the use of mobile devices during parenting activities could serve as a distraction that reduced parents responsiveness to their children. The authors cautioned that the evidence does not demonstrate a causal relationship between parents' mobile device use, parenting, and children's developmental outcomes.