Using an online questionnaire among 516 Dutch parents (children between 1 and 12 years; 68% mothers, 18% single parents) this study explored whether parents see media devices as useful tools in childrearing, and how parent-family characteristics and parental perceptions on parenting, media effects and child development predict the acceptance of instrumental media use. Findings revealed that parents saw media as a) a distractor providing the parent relief in childrearing, b) a babysitter when the parent is unavailable, and c) a tool to modify children’s behavior. Whereas 20 to 30 percent found media useful as a modifier or babysitter, only about 10 percent perceived media helpful as a distractor. Acceptance of the different types of instrumental media use depended more on parental perceptions than on parent-family variables: i.e., instrumental use of media was primarily endorsed by parents who are less confident about their parenting, have less support from a partner, expect positive effects from the media, and report health and conduct problems in their children.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study has been made possible by stichting Opvoeden.nl [Childrearing.nl foundation] and Inge Markx, MS who has executed the preliminary pilot study as part of her Master's thesis for Utrecht University.
© 2018, The Author(s).