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Study finds smartphone use sparks distracted parenting

by AirTalk®

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A man (R) looking at his smartphone while having dinner at a street food restaurant in Bangkok. NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images

A new study published this week in the journal Pediatrics shows that parents are increasingly distracted by their mobile devices.

A group of researchers, led by Dr. Jenny Radesky at Boston Medical Center, observed 55 caregivers, mostly parents, at a fast-food restaurant as they dined with their children. Forty of them used their smartphones during the meal, and 16 of them checked their phones throughout the meal.

It's an issue most digitally-connected parents have to wrestle with. Many studies have found that mealtime is particularly sacred in fostering healthy parent-child relationships.

What are the effects of a parent's mobile usage on a child's development? How do you negotiate your smartphone use while your kids are around?


Dr. Jenny Radesky, MD, a research fellow in developmental behavioral pediatrics at Boston Medical Center and lead author of the study

Rahil Briggs, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and Director of Pediatric Behavioral Health Services,  Montefiore Medical Center

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