Date of Conferral
Parents in the 21st century are concerned with the ubiquity of mobile devices and their effects on the progression of social development. A review of the literature indicated that although digital interaction has become more prominent, limited empirical data existed on whether children who spend more time interacting in the digital realm would develop the necessary competency to handle social situations in real-life settings. Using social constructivist theory and the Schramm model of communication as the theoretical foundations, the present study examined the relationship between mobile device usage and the level of social competency in young children as perceived by their parents, in relation to parental monitoring. A total of 401 parents of children age 5 to 12 years who have their own personal mobile devices completed the online questionnaires. Pearson correlation and linear regression showed that parental report of children's social competency was positively correlated to parental perception of mobile device usage and parental monitoring. Parental monitoring was also found to be a statistically significant moderator of the relationship between parental perception of mobile device usage and parental report of children's social competency. Positive social change of this study may include alleviating the misconception that digital interaction impeded social development, promoting parental role in raising socially competent children in the digital age, and advocating for a more collaborative parental monitoring strategy.