How a child’s iPhone could affect their parents
Parents who use iPads or iPhones for work may be more likely to be at risk of becoming parents.
A new study published in the journal Pediatrics has found that iPhone use may increase the risk of children growing up to be a parent.
“Parents who use devices for work have higher rates of childbearing than those who do not,” said Dr. Mary Louise Fieger, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington.
“We can’t prove it, but we suspect that that’s what we see with kids.”
Dr. Fiegers team used data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) to compare the likelihood of children being born to parents who used smartphones for work versus those who did not.
The researchers found that parents who had children in school, who were in paid employment, were about 25 percent more likely than those not in paid work to have children in college or postsecondary schooling.
“This study reinforces the importance of having a high school education and postsecondary training,” Dr. Feeger said.
“When it comes to working, there’s no reason to not have children,” she added.
The study is also one of the first to show that iPhone-use increases the risk that children will grow up to become a parent, Dr. Thomas S. McDonough, a child-pornography researcher at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a press release.
Dr. McDoough also noted that the increase in the likelihood that children were born to fathers in their 40s or 50s could be linked to the rise in iPhone use among the population.
Parents who used iPhones for a large portion of their working days were about twice as likely as those who used the devices for leisure time to have a child, according to the study.
“We know that we need to be cautious about making broad generalizations about how much kids use iPhones,” Dr McDoop said.
“The study has been very rigorous, and it is clear that the risk is real.
It’s just that there’s more research that needs to be done to really establish causation.”
Parents who used iPads or iPhone for work were found to have higher risks of having children in high school, postsecondary, and college.
Parents who had no children were also more likely.
“It’s a strong finding, but there’s still more research to be conducted,” Dr Fiegar said.
Parents are responsible for making sure they’re using safe, appropriate technology, and parents should be aware of the potential risks when making decisions about what to do with their children, Dr McDonogh added.