"'Give me the Phone Now!' Socioeconomic Differences among Latino Parents in their use of Mobile Screen Technologies for Managing the Behavior of their Young Children"
Presenter: Esmeralda Martin, Poster Presentation
Research Title: "Give me the Phone Now!" Socioeconomic Differences among Latino Parents in their use of Mobile Screen Technologies for Managing the Behavior of their Young Children
Faculty Advisor: Stephanie Reich
Mentor: Wendy Ochoa
There is more access to mobile screen technologies than ever before, making these more readily available to parents from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Recent research suggests that parents often use smartphones and tablets to manage their children’s behavior. Some behavior management strategies include using the device to punish, distract, or reward children. Unfortunately, the limited amount of research on mobile technology as a parenting tool has predominantly focused on middle-class, White mothers. We know very little about how ethnic minority and socioeconomically diverse parents, both mothers and fathers, might be using mobile devices as a behavior management tool. To address this gap in the literature, Latino parents of children four years old or younger, from diverse socioeconomic statuses (SES) were interviewed in English and/or Spanish about the ways mobile technology is used for behavior management, using a semi-structured interview. Preliminary findings indicate that parents often use mobile screen technologies to distract or calm their children. Parents view mobile screen technologies as forms of entertainment, that is, as a tool for distracting their children for long periods of time. For example, some parents reported giving their device to their child on long car rides when the child expressed being bored or to calm them down. It is important to study this topic because little is known about the implications of mobile technologies on young children’s development and how that is related to cultural and socioeconomic differences between families.
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