Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Walter, Melissa

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Family and Consumer Sciences


This study explored parental smartphone usage during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as examined parents’ perceptions of technology interference in interactions with their young children, ages 0-5. The COVD-19 pandemic brought on far-reaching consequences for many children and families across the United States. Technology quickly began to play an important role during the pandemic to obtain public health information, promote coping, and provide social support. However, parents using a mobile device can cause them to become less responsive while in the presence of their child. Current studies have not adequately addressed parental smartphone usage and parent-child interactions during the pandemic. Using a cross-sectional design, this study surveyed a total of 141 parents with young children, ages 0-5, to specifically look at: 1) How were parents using mobile devices during the pandemic? 2) Did parents perceive technoference in their interactions with their young children? 3) Is there a relationship between parents’ perceived stress and the frequency of technoference in their interactions with their young children? Results found that on average most parents were using their devices during the pandemic for social media, text messaging, and/or work purposes. We were able to also examine those parents disagreed or “somewhat disagreed” that technology was disrupting their thoughts during parent-child interactions and there was a slight correlation between parent’s stress level and technoference.


69 pages




Northern Illinois University

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In Copyright

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NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

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