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Parental Mobile Media use for Stress Management

Junior Research groupSocial Media
FundingIWM budget resources
Project description

Mobile media have become part of the everyday lifes of families and are used in various ways. However, current research still focuses relatively little on the use of media by parents. The aim of this dissertation project was to investigate how parents use mobile media such as smartphones to cope with stress and under which circumstances stress management with mobile media is successful.

The dissertation project was divided into three subprojects. In an elaborate systematic review of the literature, the state of research on stress management with media in general was systematically reviewed. The research landscape on this topic is interdisciplinary and very heterogeneous. For this reason, particular attention was paid to the theoretical approaches used in the various disciplines and to how these can be integrated.
In the second subproject, parents were interviewed in focus groups about their stress management with mobile media. Particular attention was paid to how the special conditions in the everyday life with children shapes the use of mobile media and how parents perceive and evaluate their own use in stressful situations. Mothers in Tübingen as well as patients in a parent-child cure clinic were interviewed to include a diverse sample of participants.
In the third subproject, an experience sampling study will be carried out. Several times a day, parents answered short questionnaires on their current stress perception, stress management and media usage. The situations in which parents used mobile media, which content was used and the conditions of use for successful stress management were investigated.

  • Dr. Frank Schneider (University of Mannheim)


Wolfers, L. N. (2021). Parental mobile media use for coping with stress: A focus groups study. Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies, 3(2), 304-315. Open Access

Wolfers, L. N., & Schneider, F. M. (2021). Using media for coping: a scoping review. Communication Research, 48(8), 1210-1234. Open Access


Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz
Tel.: +49 7071 979-308