Dr. Radesky is a board-certified Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician whose prior research and clinical work has focused on the importance of early childhood experiences in shaping long-term developmental and behavioral outcomes, particularly in low-income children. Her research has examined how digital media ? including television and mobile devices such as smartphones ? interacts with the early-parent child relationship, both being shaped by, and shaping, parenting behaviors and child social-emotional development. This mentored career development award will allow her to learn additional methodologies for assessing parent- child interaction and mobile device usage by parents. She has identified a comprehensive, trans-disciplinary mentoring team at the University of Michigan Departments of Pediatrics, Health Behavior and Health Education, Psychiatry, Psychology, Communications, and Informatics, as well as the Center for Human Growth and Development, to provide methodological and content expertise, including: Julie Lumeng, MD; Alison Miller, PhD; Katherine Rosenblum, PhD; Scott W. Campbell, PhD; and Mark Newman, PhD. This team of mentors and advisors will help guide her towards the following Training and Career Goals: 1. Develop working knowledge of theoretical models of parent-child interaction 2. Develop skills in using mobile devices to collect usage data and ecologic momentary assessment of parent emotional states 3. Develop skills in research methods to assess parent-child interaction, including: a) Behavioral coding of parent-child interaction from videotape b) Language Environment Analysis (LENA) audiorecording to measure parent-child verbal interaction 4. Learn statistical analytic techniques unique to assessing parent-child interaction 5. Develop familiarity with the field of information science/human-computer interaction to inform future studies. Healthy social-emotional development in young children relies on sensitive, responsive parent-child interactions, particularly in children growing up in adversity. Screen media use is a highly prevalent behavior that may be a modifiable barrier to responsive parent-child interactions. Despite rapid increases in the use of mobile devices (e.g., smartphones and tablets) by families with young children, there is a paucity of research examining associations between mobile device use and parent-child interactions. This research plan focuses on testing a conceptual model that parent and child traits predict how parents use mobile devices during family activities, and that certain features of this device use (particularly their emotional response to it) predict changes in parent-child interaction. This model also examines temporal contingencies in parent-child interaction and mobile device use, in order to help clarify directionality. This conceptual model will be tested through 3 Specific Aims:
Aim 1) Test the hypotheses that parent depressive symptoms, lower parenting self-efficacy, higher parenting stress, and child difficult temperament and lower child emotion regulation are associated with higher frequency, longer duration, and more negative parent emotional response to parent mobile device use.
Aim 2) Test the hypotheses that higher frequency, longer duration, and more negative parent emotional response to parent mobile device use are associated with less parent-child verbal exchange, lower parental responsivity, more parent-child conflict, and lower parent ability to read child behavioral cues.
Aim 3) Determine whether changes in parent-child interaction (changes in parent and child affect, verbal exchange, parent responsivity, parent-child conflict, or parent ability to read child behavioral cues) occur before or after parent mobile device use.
These Specific Aims will be carried out in two complementary cohorts: A) 296 low-income mother-child dyads enrolled in an existing cohort study with previously collected videotapes of home mealtimes, during which mobile devices are commonly used; and B) 100 parent-child dyads from a range of socioeconomic status backgrounds who will be followed for 4 days of data collection with continuous mobile device-based passive sensing of the parent's mobile device use, coordinated with simultaneous audiorecording of parent-child interaction using Language Environment Analysis (LENA) technology. Future Implications: The results from this work will contribute to an evidence base about how families can use the explosion of new media in their households in the healthiest ways possible, both through the formation of clinical guidelines and future interventional approaches.
PROPOSAL NARRATIVE Despite the rapidly increasing ownership and use of mobile technology by parents and evidence showing that older technologies such as television displace important parent-child interactions, remarkably little research has examined the effects of mobile device use on families. This proposal examines which parent-child dyads are at highest risk of disturbances in parent-child interaction from mobile devices, how parent mobile device use precedes or follows changes in parent-child interactions, and the behavioral mechanisms underlying these associations. We anticipate that our findings will be applied to clinical guidelines for mobile device use by families, interventions to help improve parent-child engagement in the highest risk families, and the development of technologies that might be better designed to not intrude upon family time.