Effective parental strategies against problematic smartphone use among adolescents: A 6-month prospective study

Yaniv Efrati, Hananel Rosenberg, Yaakov Ophir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Problematic Smartphone Use (PSU) among adolescents is growing problem worldwide and multiple studies investigated its associated parental risk and protective factors. The available studies, however, typically do not address the multidimensional nature of PSU. They also rely heavily on cross-sectional designs with a small number of potentially contributing variables. This 6-month prospective study examines the relationships between a large range of parental factors with the three known dimensions of PSU: social environment pressure, emotional gain, and addiction-like behaviors. Specifically the study examines whether, and to what extent, the various dimensions of current and future PSU are related to parental support giving, general quality of communication, specific communication about smartphone use, and the four common mediation strategies. The sample comprised 1187 triads of mothers, fathers, and adolescents. The data-analysis pipeline consisted of three consecutive phases: (1) analyses of parental factors at baseline, (2) analyses of parental factors change over 6-months, and (3) interaction analyses between parental factors and the time-period of the study. The pipeline elicited three factors that moderated the change in PSU over time: Communication about smartphones with mothers, parental support giving, and parental co-use. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of the existing literature and the familial, microsystem theoretical framework. Altogether, this prospective study scrutinized key parental factors and strategies that could be utilized by parents for coping with one of the most difficult parenting challenges of the digital era. Further research may build upon these findings to develop designated interventions to reduce PSU.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108024
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume154
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Communication
  • Mediation strategies
  • Parental strategies
  • Problematic smartphone use
  • Prospective study
  • Support giving

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