The Relationship between Parent-Child Relationships and the Use of Digital Devices by Older Preschoolers



Objective. The study of the relationship between the position of parents in relation to the mental development of the child, attitudes in relation to the influence of digital devices, parenting style and screen (active and passive) time of the child.
Background. Modern digital devices are becoming an integral part of the life of a modern child. An adult, primarily parents, becomes an intermediary between a digital device and a child. In this connection, the study of child-parent relationships, parental position, attitudes and time that the child spends interacting with digital devices (screen time) becomes relevant.
Study design. The study is of a correlational nature. The presence and nature of the relationship is checked using a path analysis (structural equation modeling) performed in the IMB Statistics v. 23 AMOS. Participants. The study involved 318 parents of older preschool children attending kindergartens in Moscow and the Moscow Region (237 women and 81 men, mean age 28,5 years).
Measurements. To study the screen time of children and the attitudes of parents regarding the impact of digital devices on the development of the child, a modified methodology “Regulations for the use of gadgets” by M.V. Bortsova and S.D. Nekrasov. To study parent-child relationships, the questionnaire “Analysis of family relationships” by E.G. Eidemiller and V.V. Yustickis in the children's version (3-10 years old). To study the parental position, the questionnaire “Position of parents in relation to the mental development of children” by E.L. Porotskaya and V.F. Spiridonov.
Results. The parents did not demonstrate any pronounced tendency to one parenting style. However, such styles as "Hyperprotection" and "Indulgence" are most common. Parents are aimed at accelerating children's development and take a moderately active position in relation to the development of preschoolers. Most parents are ambivalent about the impact of digital technologies on children, but they talk about them more often with negative connotations. Children's media activity ranges from 5,2 to 8,9 hours per week. Conclusions. The study shows that the time an older preschooler spends in front of a screen of digital devices is associated with such characteristics of parent-child relationships as parenting style, attitudes towards the influence of digital devices, and position on the acceleration of child development. At the same time, different ways of using digital devices are associated with different characteristics of the parent-child relationship. Watching cartoons and videos (passive screen time) is associated with indulgent hyperprotection and the desire of parents to satisfy the needs of the child as much as possible. The use of applications and video games (active screen time) by a child is associated with positive expectations of parents from digital devices in the field of development and a position on the acceleration of child development.

General Information

Keywords: digital devices; child’s screen time; style of family education; attitudes towards child development

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


Acknowledgements. The authors are grateful for assistance O.E. Khukhlaev.

Received: 20.07.2023


For citation: Denisenkova N.S., Taruntaev P.I. The Relationship between Parent-Child Relationships and the Use of Digital Devices by Older Preschoolers. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2023. Vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 31–45. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2023140303. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Nataliya S. Denisenkova, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Professor of Social Psychology of Development Chair, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Pavel I. Taruntaev, Graduate Student, Social psychology faculty, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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