Parental stress linked to low screen-time enforcement

Canadian parents under stress, including those dealing with COVID-19 pandemic pressures, are less likely to monitor and limit the screen time of their young children, according to a U of G study. Stressed parents are also more likely to use their own devices in front of their kids.

The researchers found that when parents are under stress, household rules about screen time often go out the window. Moms and dads are not equal: mothers who reported high stress said they were more likely to use devices in front of their children and less likely to monitor or limit their kids’ screen use, unlike high-stress fathers, who were more likely to limit children’s screen time.

Lead author Lisa Tang, a PhD student in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, says, “We found parenting stress does indeed affect how parents manage screen time but influenced mothers and fathers differently.”

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