Experimental research with parents of older children suggests parents’ engagement with technological devices (e.g., television, mobile devices) in the presence of their children decreases the quality of parent-child interactions. Many mothers report frequent use of technological devices during infant feeding but, to date, few studies have explored the potential association between maternal technological device use during feeding and the quality of infant feeding interactions. To this end, mothers (n = 25) and their infants (mean age = 19.3 ± 6.4 weeks) participated in a within-subject, experimental study to explore associations between maternal digital media use and feeding interaction quality within a laboratory setting. Dyads were video-recorded while breastfeeding under two counterbalanced conditions: Digital Media Use versus Control. Mothers engaged their infants in significantly less cognitive growth fostering during the Digital Media Use compared to Control condition. Infants of mothers with typically low levels of technology use during feeding showed a significant decrease in their responsiveness to their mother during the Digital Media Use compared to Control condition. These results illustrate maternal digital media use was associated with decreases in some, but not all, aspects of the quality of the feeding interaction, meriting further investigation with larger, more diverse samples.


Kinesiology | Public Health

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URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/kine_fac/147