UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Young children, parents and technology : a case study exploring how the play choices of a 3 year old child relate to parental attitudes and behaviours around technology. Adebar, Yvonne Kiefert


Today’s digital landscape is evolving more quickly than existing research about the effects of digital technology on the development, learning and family life of young children, particularly those under the age of five. As research suggests, there is a causal relationship between use of digital technology and the health and well-being of individuals. It is therefore important to come to an understanding of how digital behaviours are developed in the early years, a time of radical growth and learning with long term implications for the young child. Research suggests that the child’s development of attitudes and behaviours related to digital technology may be influenced by parental use of and attitudes about digital media as well as the structuring of the child’s experiences and environment. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the question of how the play choices of a 3 year old boy relate to the behaviours and beliefs parents demonstrate in the home in regards to digital technology. Data collection included parent and child questionnaires as well as observations and documentation of the child’s play preferences when offered choices from traditional as well as digital materials. Results were examined using a thematic analysis to determine if a relationship between child choices and parental beliefs and practices is indicated.

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