Cell Phone Addiction: Parents Glued To Smartphones Have ‘More Negative’ Interactions With Their Kids
By Philip Ross
International Business Times
on March 10 2014 7:24 PM
For once, it’s parents and not youngsters who are being told to get their noses out of their smartphones. The reason? Thumbing through one’s phone incessantly could damage the parent-child bond.
A new study published in the journal Pediatrics found that adults absorbed in their mobile devices were more likely to harshly scold their children’s behavior.
Researchers from Boston Medical Center observed parents interacting with their children during meals in fast-food restaurants. They noted that one-third of the adults used their phones continuously during the meals, and 73 percent of them checked their devices at least once.
When a parent who was glued to the phone was interrupted by a child, the parent was apt to react negatively, according to the study. One mother even kicked her child under the table after the child attempted to get her attention while she tapped away at her smartphone. Another mother ignored her child as he tried to lift her head from looking down at a tablet. Researchers believed the kids may have been acting out as a way to test limits or gain the parent’s attention.
“What stood out was that in a subset of caregivers using the device almost through the entire meal, how negative their interactions could become with the kids,” Dr. Jenny Radesky, a fellow in developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the center and lead author of the study, told Time. “[There were] a lot of instances where there was very little interaction, harsh interaction or negative interaction between the adults and children.”
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