Associations among parent technology use, locus of control, and child problem behaviors

Jodi Dworkin, Xiaoran Sun, Samantha LeBouef, Angela Keyzers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: The current study had two objectives: (a) describe demographic differences in parent technology use and (b) explore how parent technology use contributes to parent locus of control and how locus of control is associated with child problem behaviors. Background: The ubiquitous use of technology is likely to influence parenting and, in turn, children's outcomes. This study was designed to test the pathway from parents' technology use to children's problem behaviors through their locus of control for parenting. Method: Participants were 316 U.S. parents (36% fathers; Mage = 41.93 years), recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk, with at least one child aged 10 to 18 years. Structural equation models were estimated to test the hypothesized paths. Results and Conclusion: Fathers and lower income parents reported significantly less frequent online information gathering and parents of color reported significantly more frequent calling and texting and social networking than White parents. Parents' texting and calling was positively, and online information gathering negatively, linked to child problem behaviors through parental locus of control. Implications: Understanding how diverse parents are using technology for parenting, and which online tools are effective for supporting parents is essential to developing online resources to support families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-457
Number of pages15
JournalFamily relations
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Family Relations published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of National Council on Family Relations.


  • locus of control
  • online information gathering
  • parenting
  • problem behaviors
  • social networking
  • texting


Dive into the research topics of 'Associations among parent technology use, locus of control, and child problem behaviors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this