Parental evaluations of young children’s touchscreen technologies

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Title

Digital Parenting: The Challenges for Families in the Digital Age




School of Arts and Humanities / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications




Haddon, L., & Holloway, D. (2018). Parental evaluations of young children’s touchscreen technologies. In G. Mascheroni, C. Ponte & A. Jorge (Eds.) Digital parenting: The challenges for families in the digital age. Göteborg: Nordicom.


This chapter reports the first findings from the Australia-UK Toddlers and Tablets project, exploring how parents of 0 to 5-year olds evaluate the role of touchscreen technologies in their children’s lives. The findings indicate that parent’s evaluations, covering both their concerns and satisfactions, are in many ways similar to those of parents of older children. Nonetheless, there are some differences that stand out. Parents of children in this age group are less concerned about inappropriate content and contact – most likely because they are in closer proximity to their very young children in the home. They tend to reflect more on the learning or developmental benefits or detriments of touchscreen use. These parents also revealed, often with mixed feelings, how touchscreens can be helpful in occupying their children, either when the child needs to be distracted or when they themselves need time to carry out other tasks.

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