Technology and Family Dynamics: The Relationships Among Children’s Use of Mobile Devices, Family Atmosphere and Parenting Approaches

Vincent Wan Ping Lee, Henry Wai Hang Ling, Johnson Chung Sing Cheung, Sincere Yee Chun Tung, Cathy Miu Yee Leung, Yu Cheung Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines how family atmosphere, parental self-efficacy, parenting methods and children’s patterns of mobile device use result in negative outcomes for children’s use of mobile devices. The hierarchical multiple regression analysis found that a stressful and conflictive family atmosphere and higher dependence on mobile devices promote negative outcomes. The self-efficacy of parents in helping their children to avoid the negative outcomes was also found to be positive associated the actual negative outcomes that their children had experienced in using mobile devices. Data were collected from a sample of 1561 students from 39 secondary schools in Hong Kong, including students studying at the Form one to Form five levels (equivalent to the seventh to eighth grade) and 1233 of their parents. Hierarchical linear regression analysis was applied to examine the magnitude of the associations between these variables. The paper highlights the importance of avoiding a tense atmosphere and conflicts between parents and children. For service providers, this paper provides a comprehensive reference to understand how parents and children think about family dynamics and relationships under the impact of technological development on individual families. Also, parents would be more advantageous if they were more efficacious about themselves in helping children to avoid the negative outcomes. This study can help service providers determine which intervention approaches can effectively support families in managing parent–child conflicts, developing cohesiveness, and facilitating children’s proper use of new technologies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChild and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2021


  • Family atmosphere
  • Family dynamics
  • Parenting
  • Technology
  • Use of mobile devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Social Sciences


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