How Mothers Manage and Make Sense of their Early Adolescent’s Interactive Screen Use: An IPA Study in the UK

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Abstract

Interactive screen use (ISU) for leisure is becoming increasingly popular amongst early adolescents in western societies. ISU adds complexity to family relationships as mothers are required to navigate positive relationships and caregiving in a technological landscape which balances risk-management with the promotion of autonomy. This is made more difficult as early adolescents tend to be less open to their mother’s guidance during this developmental period. There is currently no existing literature which explores mother’s lived experience of navigating and making sense of their early adolescent’s ISU and this paper offers an original contribution to knowledge in this area. Qualitative data were collected from individual, semi-structured interviews with seven mothers of early adolescent children and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Three master themes were identified: (1) Mother’s concerns around the impact ISU on their children, (2) ISU impacting on the mother–child relationship and (3) the changing role of the mother when parenting their early adolescent children in a digital world. The paper concludes with a discussion of the findings of this study and suggestions for future research directions.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Family Studies
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2023

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