Parenting in the Digital Age: Between socio-biological and socio-technological development

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Parents have long been encouraged to treat their child’s development as a capability, with the imperative being to maximize this capability. At the same time, however, children’s ‘natural’ process of development must be allowed to take its course. Digital media technologies promise to not only enhance children’s developmental capacity, but also threaten to disrupt their normal development. Drawing on qualitative research involving 40 Australian parents, this article examines parents’ concerns about their teenage children’s use of digital media. It examines how parents negotiate the tension between technological development and the benefits it affords their child, and the perceived risks that technological development poses to their child’s normal development, through mediating what they construct as positive and negative exposure to digital media. Parents distinguished between media use that was considered to enhance their child’s development and use that had the potential to disrupt it, by categorizing various activities as appropriate and inappropriate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1045-1062
Number of pages18
JournalNew Media Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


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