Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational and School Psychology

First Advisor

Amy Scott Brown

First Committee Member

Justin Low

Second Committee Member

Gabriela Hernandez


Technology plays an increasingly significant role in the lives of children and adults, and it is imperative to understand if and how it impacts the development of psychological processes and the subsequent behaviors of preschool-aged children so that we can better understand how to navigate guidelines for use and interventions for overuse. To better understand the relationship between screen time use and a child’s social emotional development, it is important to consider parent time on screens, child time on screens, and any effects an older sibling in the home or parental gender may have on their development. This study gathered screen time usage rates from parents and their preschool-aged children and then measured the social emotional development of these children using an electronic version of the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment for Preschoolers, Second Edition (eDECA-2). Results were analyzed using sequential regression models and found child and parent screen time usage to be negatively associated with the social emotional development of the child. There were no moderating effects of the presence of an older sibling in the home. There were only moderating effects for parental gender when considering primary parents, which showed that when a male is a primary parent, increased parental and child screen time leads to a steeper decrease in behavioral concerns than when the primary parent is female. Additionally, categories of screen time usage were analyzed using multiple analyses of variance and showed that parents who used tool-based applications rated their children with higher levels of social emotional development. Results that analyzed the child’s categories of use did not show delineated differences between tool-based and non-tool-based applications.



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