A Goal-Theoretic Framework for Parental Screen-Time Monitoring Behavior

Meghan B. Owenz, Blaine J. Fowers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Children's screen time (i.e., time spent using computers, televisions, mobile devices) has rapidly increased with the development of mobile technology, and this increase has become a matter of serious concern for teachers, parents, family life educators, psychologists, and other health professionals. High usage rates (more than 2 hours per day) have been associated with low-quality sleep, language acquisition difficulties, and attentional problems in young children. Results of experimental trials to limit screen time have been mixed. Interventions may be improved with guidance from a systematic theoretical framework focused directly on children's well-being. This article proposes a multifaceted goal-theoretic approach to reducing screen time through involvement in alternative activities. It is proposed that a focus on approach goals involving shared activities that are constitutive of children's well-being can naturally displace excessive screen time, enhance child development, reduce parental stress, and improve familial well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-349
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Family Theory and Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Children
  • goals
  • monitoring
  • screen time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'A Goal-Theoretic Framework for Parental Screen-Time Monitoring Behavior'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this