Expert Alert: Screen time and the impact on families

Jodi Dworkin

Screens can be hard to avoid, especially as most people in the United States own and carry cell phones with them. Now parents and their teenagers are both admitting to spending too much time on their smartphones.

Recent surveys from the Pew Research Center show that 54 percent of U.S. teenagers and 36 percent of parents of teens admit to spending too much time on their cell phone. Along with that, more than half of teens surveyed say their caregiver has often or sometimes been distracted by a cell phone during a conversation.

Jodi Dworkin, professor in the College of Education and Human Development, offers insight on how technology impacts the family.

Jodi Dworkin, Ph.D.
“Not only are adolescents active users of technology, their parents are also emerging as technology users who are actively seeking out information, advice and support. Parents need to continue to expand the ways in which they use technology to engage with their adolescent children, as it gives parents more ways to stay connected. However, parents also need to discern between being engaged and being intrusive in connecting with their children online.”

Jodi Dworkin is the College of Education and Human Development’s Family Social Science department head. Dworkin is also a University of Minnesota Extension Specialist. Her expertise includes: technology and family development; the role of technology in familial communications; promoting positive family development; and parenting adolescents and college students.

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Jodi Dworkin
612-624-3732 (o)


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