Laying the foundation for protective digital parenting : the development of a theoretical framework, a validated measure of digital parenting attitudes, and a person-centered analysis of digital parenting styles

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jessica Lauren Navarro (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jonathan Tudge

Abstract: Over the past thirty years, the advent and proliferation of digital and social technologies has expanded the contexts in which children and families play, learn, communicate, and grow. Although burgeoning, developmental and family science research exploring the intersection of technology, development, and the family system has lagged behind the pace of technological adoption and innovation. The current studies were developed and conducted to aid researchers in considering how digital and social technologies may influence diverse areas of inquiry. Study 1 delineates an adaptation of Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory for the digital age, entitled neo-ecological theory. The microsystem is expanded to include virtual and physical microsystems, which impacts the conceptualization of proximal processes, person characteristics, contextual influences, and time. In addition, neo-ecological theory re-emphasizes the importance of macrosystemic influences on proximal processes in the digital age. Study 2 explicates the development and validation of the Digital Parental Mediation Scale (DPMS), a quantitative measure of parents’ attitudes about digital-specific parenting practices. Utilizing the DPMS, Study 3 used latent profile analysis (LPA) to identify four profiles of digital parental mediation styles. The results of Studies 2 and 3 showed that parents’ attitudes about the four dimensions of digital mediation, as well as parents’ digital mediation styles, were differentially related to parent and household characteristics (including parent gender and race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, child age, and parents’ technology-related confidence), suggesting great heterogeneity in how parents approach parenting in the digital age. Directions for future research and limitations to generalizability across temporal, cultural, and developmental contexts are discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
Bronfenbrenner, Digital technology, Parental Mediation, Parenting
Mass media and families
Internet and families
Parent and child

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