A Qualitative Study on Children's Digital Media Use and Parents' Self-interest

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This qualitative study provides insight into the role of parents' self-interest in digital media use of children in different age groups. We conducted 31 semi-structured interviews with fathers/mothers of children aged 3-16 years who were recruited via targeted sampling. A deductive and inductive content analysis was applied. Results show that parents' self-interest in letting children use digital media includes being able to do other tasks without being bothered, having some me-time, managing children's behavior, avoiding discussions, having moments to use digital media themselves and spending quality-time together. In addition, we found that the manner in which parents let children use digital media out of self-interest seems to depend on age. With younger children, parents initiate digital media use or set times at which children are allowed to use digital media. With older children, parents use a passive manner by omitting restrictive responses to their children's media use. Current findings can be used to inform interventions aimed at reducing children's screen time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2015-2026
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number7
Early online date23 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • Children’s digital media use
  • Parents’ self-interest
  • Qualitative research


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