Digital parenting and its impact on early childhood development: A scoping review

Yun Nga CHOY, Yi Hung Eva LAU, Dandan WU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


Digital parenting refers to the parenting practices that maximize the benefits and minimize potential risks of children’s interactions with digital media and online spaces. Balancing the pros and cons of early digital usage is a challenge for many caregivers. This scoping review synthesizes evidence regarding digital parenting practices and their impact on children's digital use and development, drawing from 40 studies published in international peer-reviewed journals between 2010 and 2023. Four themes have emerged from this scoping review. Firstly, parental perspectives on early digital use diverged into positive views (as ‘educational aids’), negative views (as ‘distractions’), and cultural differences. Secondly, children's digital use was influenced by digital parenting practices, specifically parental modeling, parenting style, parental mediation and the intended purpose of children's digital use. Thirdly, a correlation was noted between varying results of digital parenting and children's digital use, with outcomes manifested in children's digital literacy, parent–child relationships, social-emotional and language development, behavioral issues, and emergent literacy. Fourthly, influential factors were child ages, parental and family-related factors (including gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, family structure, religion, and parents' digital literacy), and the type of digital resources. The review suggests that future research should concentrate on training programs to enhance parental digital literacy skills and employ monitoring tools to better assess children's digital use. Copyright © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2024.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEducation and Information Technologies
Early online dateMay 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 2024


Choy, Y. N., Lau, E. Y. H., & Wu, D. (2024). Digital parenting and its impact on early childhood development: A scoping review. Education and Information Technologies. Advance online publication.


  • Digital parenting
  • Children
  • Digital devices
  • Scoping review
  • Early digital use
  • PG student publication


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