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Study finds babies' development delayed by increased screen time

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 8 months ago

A recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics found that one-year-olds exposed to more than four hours of screen time a day experienced developmental delays in communication and problem-solving skills at ages 2 and 4. The research also showed that these children had delays in the development of fine motor and personal and social skills at age 2, although these delays appeared to dissipate by age 4.

However, it is important to note that the study did not establish a causal relationship between screen time and developmental delays. Instead, it found an association between babies who were exposed to more screen time and delays in their development. Experts suggest that this association could be explained by the value of face-to-face interaction for young children.

According to David J. Lewkowicz, a developmental psychologist at the Yale Child Study Center, face-to-face interaction between parent and child is crucial in providing babies with a rich set of information, including language and meaning conveyed through facial expressions, words, tone of voice, and physical feedback. Lewkowicz was not surprised by the research results and emphasized the importance of real-life social interaction.

The study, conducted by scholars in Japan, surveyed parents of nearly 8,000 young children about their child's development and screen time. It found that babies exposed to higher levels of screen time were more likely to be the children of first-time mothers who were younger and had lower incomes and household education levels. Additionally, a majority of the babies had less than two hours of screen time, while only 4 percent were exposed to screens for four or more hours a day.

The study's authors acknowledged the need for future research to distinguish between educational screen time and entertainment-focused screen time. They also emphasized the importance of moderation in screen time and encouraged parents to engage in face-to-face interaction with their children as much as possible.

In conclusion, while this study suggests an association between screen time and developmental delays in young children, it is important to consider the limitations of the research and the factors that may contribute to this association. The advice from experts is to prioritize face-to-face interaction and engage in screen time in moderation.

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