The landscape of modern parenting has shifted as an increasing number of parents have and utilize smartphones and other mobile devices throughout the day. A validated measure of parent distraction with these devices is needed in the field. It is important to have a validated measure of parent distraction with mobile devices (e.g., phubbing, technoference), as this distraction can be common at times and could negatively impact the quality of parenting that children receive. In the current study, I developed a brief, parent-reported survey measure of parent distraction (DISRUPT), examined its reliability and validity (convergent, divergent) in two survey studies (Study 1, n = 473 parents; Study 2, n = 294 parents), and examined its usefulness in predicting parenting quality (predictive validity). Overall, the results provide initial support for the DISRUPT as a valid and reliable measure of parent problematic tendencies with their phone or mobile devices during time they spend with their children. The DISRUPT's items loaded together well and were internally consistent, and scores were associated with technology use (e.g., problematic phone use) and well-being variables (e.g., depression, stress) in the expected directions. Results also revealed the measure to be useful, as scores predicted parenting-related variables over and above other technology use variables. The DISRUPT also functioned as a mediator in a conceptual model of depression and parenting stress predicting parent distraction (DISRUPT) which then predicted parenting quality.

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Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies

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