UVic Internal Grant to Further Our Research

Background: Excess smartphone use can have a negative impact on students’ learning and wellbeing. An
estimated 75% of middle school children between the ages of 10-14 years old have access to a personal
smartphone. The majority of children in middle schools receive their first smartphone. Thus, this age group
represents a critical window of opportunity for teaching the students self-regulation skills when using
smartphone and healthy smartphone usage habits. Family-based smartphone education programs may be an effective approach to teach children about self-regulating their smartphone use.

1) Develop a family-focused smartphone education program for children 10-14 years of age.
2) Evaluate the acceptability and satisfaction of the smartphone education program.
3) Examine the feasibility of the program to improve smartphone use habits among children.

Methods: The project is organized into 2 phases in order to address the study aims. During the first phase (0-6 months), we will use an integrated-knowledge translation (KT) approach to work with our stakeholders to develop the family-based smartphone education program (Aim 1). In phase two (Months 7-12), we will evaluate the family-based smartphone education program (Aim 2 and 3).

Conclusion: This proposal has a significant impact on providing invaluable information about the impact of the smartphone education program. This will be the first study in Canada to develop a family-focused smartphone education program. The research will also set the stage for a SSHRC insight grant application to systematically evaluate the effectiveness of a smartphone education program.