Employed Mothers' Work-Family Conflict and Early School-Age Children's Smartphone Dependency: Depression and Parenting Behaviors as Sequential Mediators
Objectives: This study examined the processes linking employed mothers' work-family conflicts and early school-age children's smartphone dependency, focusing on the sequential mediational role of employed mothers' depression and parenting behaviors. Methods: Data were collected from 310 employed mothers in South Korea with children between 1 st and 3 rd grades (boys: 153, girls: 157) at elementary school. Only mothers and their early school-age children with their own smartphones participated
... ones participated in the current study. A sequential mediational model was analyzed using the PROCESS for macro program. Results: First, employed mothers' work-family conflict had a significant direct effect on children's smartphone dependency. Second, neither depression nor parenting behavior was a significant single mediator in the relationship between employed mothers' work-family conflicts and children's smartphone dependency. Third, the indirect path linking employed mothers' work-family conflicts and children's smartphone dependency through depression and parenting behavior was significant, and the sequential mediational model was supported. Conclusion: These findings highlight the importance of understanding the mechanisms that facilitate the development of early school-age children's smartphone dependency. This study focused on the role of work-family conflicts to highlight how employed mothers' difficulties with dual responsibilities for work and family may be linked to their less optimal emotional and behavioral functioning which may lead to smartphone dependency in early school-age children.