Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Program Name/Specialization

Developmental Psychology


Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Dr. Eileen Wood

Advisor Role



The present exploratory study examined the shared-computer behaviours of parent-child dyads in order to examine how (and if) parents interact with their children when using mobile digital devices and parents’ perceptions of their child’s technology use. Little is known about how technologies are used with young children and how to maximize and support young children’s learning when they are introduced to these technologies. In total, ­­104 parents (­­n = 72 mothers and n = 32 fathers; one parent per child) participated in an observation session where parent-child interactions using a mobile device (Apple iPad™) were recorded in order to observe first-hand the supports and exchanges between parent and child. Parents displayed verbal, emotional-verbal, physical and emotional-physical supports. Parents completed a survey that assessed their perceptions of their children’s technology use as well as the verbal, emotional and physical supports parents report providing to support their children’s use of technology. Following the observation session, parents were interviewed to report their feelings about their experience in the study, whether they feel they should help their child when their child is using technology, how parents introduced technology and/or games on technology to their child(ren), and parents’ opinions on which critical aspects are important to address when deciding to use or not use technology. Results indicate that although parents do not differ as a function of gender or experience (novice versus advanced users of mobile devices) for the amount and type of support they provide their child while interacting with the iPad™, they provide a great deal of supports to their child. Results will be important for parents, educators, and child care providers as they make clear parents’ perceptions, behaviours and personal experiences in introducing technology to their children.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season