Within the past 10 years, mobile devices have been widely adopted by adults and are now present in the lives of almost all U.S. children. While phones are common, our understanding of what effect this technology has upon children's development is lagging. Bioecological theory and attachment theory suggest that this new technology may be disruptive, especially to the degree to which it interferes with the parent-child relationship. This article reflects a National Organization for Human Services conference presentation and shares preliminary results from semi-structured interviews conducted with 18 youth, ages 7 through 11. Only four of eighteen interviewees voiced any negative thoughts concerning their parents’ use of mobile devices. However, those who reported feeling ignored by their parents experienced the negative emotions deeply. Themes that emerged from analysis of transcripts included devices as tools and boundaries.
Garris, Bill R.; Lester, Lindsay; Doran, Erin; and Lowery, Andrea. 2017. iBusy: Research on children, families, and smartphones. Proceedings of the National Organization for Human Services. 99-109. https://www.nationalhumanservices.org/assets/documents/conference%20proceedings%202016.pdf