Technology interference in the parenting of young children: Implications for mothers’ perceptions of coparenting


Technology devices and their characteristics have become more pervasive and enticing. The use of these new devices is common, and interruptions due to these devices are likely. This study examines the frequency of technology interference in (a) coparenting relationships—the relationship between parents as they parent their children together—during early infancy/childhood and in (b) various parenting domains (bedtime, mealtime, etc.), as well as (c) associations between technology interference and perceptions of coparenting quality as reported by 203 married/cohabiting mothers. Many mothers perceived that technology interrupted coparenting interactions on occasion, especially during unstructured parenting such as playtime. Mothers rating more interference reported worse coparenting, relationship satisfaction, and depressive symptoms. Technology interference predicted coparenting even after controlling for relationship satisfaction and depressive symptoms. Technology interference likely decreases coordination between parents, leaving some mothers feeling frustrated. Parents may be advised to critically examine and potentially regulate technology use during family interactions.

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Conference Proceeding

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The Social Science Journal

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