Study Links Screen Time In Infants To Speech and Problem-Solving Delays

Photo Credit: Unsplash/ Jelleke Vanooteghem

A new study suggests that excessive screen time, including television, may negatively impact child development, potentially leading to delays in communication, problem-solving, and social skills, reports the NY Post

“Passive screen time, such as mindlessly watching television or videos, may not allow children to practice interactive problem-solving skills,”

according to Dr. Jason Nagata, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, as reported by MedPage Today.

“Screens can disrupt or displace interactions with caregivers and limit opportunities for verbal exchanges, which can impair communication and social skills,”

added Nagata, who was not involved in the study.

“When screen use does not have an interactive or physical component, children are sedentary and may not be able to practice their gross motor skills.”

A study in Japan examined the impact of screen time on child development, involving over 7,000 children aged 1 to 4. Mothers reported the number of hours their children spent using screens. Results revealed that children with up to four hours of screen time per day at age 2 were up to three times more likely to have delayed communication and problem-solving skills. 

Those with four or more hours had underdeveloped communication, personal, social, and motor skills. Issues persisted at age 4. Mothers of children with high screen time were often younger, first-time mothers with lower incomes and education levels, and more likely to experience postpartum depression. 

However, the study has limitations, including reliance on mothers’ reports and no distinction between educational and entertainment screen time.

“Not all screen time is equal. For instance, watching educational programs or video chatting with family is not the same as passively watching television or fast-paced TikTok videos,”

said Nagata.

#Clique, what are your thoughts? 

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