Parent–child interactions around television and other on-screen content: Considering communication and social skills

Claire Lusted and Beverly Joffe
Southern Cross University

This study investigated parent–child interactions around on-screen content. Associated and predictive factors impacting quality of interactions were considered in relation to development of communication and social skills. A quantitative approach was used to analyse online survey responses of 162 Australian parents/carers. Descriptive statistics, correlations, evaluation of differences between groups, and multiple regression analyses were conducted. Children viewed an average of
17.86 hours of on-screen content (SD = 9.03) per week, with their viewing time most strongly predicted by parents’ viewing time, and frequency of unsupervised viewing. Parents did not always ask questions, make comments or conduct follow-on activities around on-screen content in a manner conducive to communication and social skills development. Findings from this study may be useful in informing realistic recommendations made to parents about using on-screen content to assist their children in developing communication and social skills.

Australasian Journal of Early Childhood—Volume 43 Number 2 June 2018.

Don’t forget, the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood is tax deductible for early childhood professionals.

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