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Television, Mobile Phones, Etc., Appear to be Less Than Optimal Babysitters

Started by Recusant, November 13, 2019, 05:32:35 PM

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Recusant

Hardly a surprise, but quantitative measure of effect is worthwhile.

"Screen-based media associated with structural differences in brains of young children" | ScienceDaily

QuoteA new study documents structural differences in the brains of preschool-age children related to screen-based media use.

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, shows that children who have more screen time have lower structural integrity of white matter tracts in parts of the brain that support language and other emergent literacy skills. These skills include imagery and executive function -- the process involving mental control and self-regulation. These children also have lower scores on language and literacy measures.

The Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center study assessed screen time in terms of American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations. The AAP recommendations not only take into account time spent in front of screens but also access to screens, including portable devices; content; and who children are with and how they interact when they are looking at screens.

"This study raises questions as to whether at least some aspects of screen-based media use in early childhood may provide sub-optimal stimulation during this rapid, formative state of brain development," says John Hutton, MD, director of the, Reading & Literacy Discovery Center at Cincinnati Children's and lead author of the study. "While we can't yet determine whether screen time causes these structural changes or implies long-term neurodevelopmental risks, these findings warrant further study to understand what they mean and how to set appropriate limits on technology use."

[Continues . . .]
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xSilverPhinx

This is an interesting topic (even controversial) and some of the first important longitudinal studies are coming now regarding what too much screen time is doing to young developing brains.

There are other deficits associated with too much screen time in developing children as well, such as fine motor coordination and in some cases even delayed social skills. If I'm not mistaken, pediatricians recommend not spending over two hours of screen time a day, above that is considered excessive.

I watched my niece (10 years old now) grow up glued to a screen, whether it be a computer, a cellphone or the TV. On one hand, she had the delays I mentioned, even if slight, besides some executive function problems but on the other she learnt English on her own through interaction with these mediums. She's extremely motivated to read and write in English so she can play online games. So while she's behind her peers in some aspects, when it comes to second language acquisition she's far ahead. 
I am what survives if it's slain - Zack Hemsey


Siz

Quote from: xSilverPhinx on November 14, 2019, 08:26:38 PM
This is an interesting topic (even controversial) and some of the first important longitudinal studies are coming now regarding what too much screen time is doing to young developing brains.

There are other deficits associated with too much screen time in developing children as well, such as fine motor coordination and in some cases even delayed social skills. If I'm not mistaken, pediatricians recommend not spending over two hours of screen time a day, above that is considered excessive.

I watched my niece (10 years old now) grow up glued to a screen, whether it be a computer, a cellphone or the TV. On one hand, she had the delays I mentioned, even if slight, besides some executive function problems but on the other she learnt English on her own through interaction with these mediums. She's extremely motivated to read and write in English so she can play online games. So while she's behind her peers in some aspects, when it comes to second language acquisition she's far ahead.

Given that 'studies' had until now not shown conclusive evidence one way or the other, the 'two hour' limit was completely arbitrary. I think I came to the same 'conclusion' based on my own ludditial biases some years ago.

And as for the acquisition of a foreign language, that works in your favour, perhaps, but the benefit is nullified if English is your first language.

When one sleeps on the floor one need not worry about falling out of bed - Anton LaVey

The universe is a cold, uncaring void. The key to happiness isn't a search for meaning, it's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually you'll be dead!

billy rubin

wasn't this well-documented some twenty years back? actual physically different brain functions as a consequence of growing up with screen usage?

don't remember the study.

i haven't had a television in my life going close to thirty years now, although i've had computer screens for about twenty and a telephone about five. none of my kids had ready access to a screen-view of the world until the youngest was around ten or twelve, so the older kids missed out completely. but they're all thumb-scrollers now.

we have a netflix account, but two of the kids are out of the house and i can't sit still in front of it for very long.


more people have been to berlin than i have

xSilverPhinx

Quote from: Siz on November 14, 2019, 08:57:18 PM
Quote from: xSilverPhinx on November 14, 2019, 08:26:38 PM
This is an interesting topic (even controversial) and some of the first important longitudinal studies are coming now regarding what too much screen time is doing to young developing brains.

There are other deficits associated with too much screen time in developing children as well, such as fine motor coordination and in some cases even delayed social skills. If I'm not mistaken, pediatricians recommend not spending over two hours of screen time a day, above that is considered excessive.

I watched my niece (10 years old now) grow up glued to a screen, whether it be a computer, a cellphone or the TV. On one hand, she had the delays I mentioned, even if slight, besides some executive function problems but on the other she learnt English on her own through interaction with these mediums. She's extremely motivated to read and write in English so she can play online games. So while she's behind her peers in some aspects, when it comes to second language acquisition she's far ahead.

Given that 'studies' have until now had not shown conclusive evidence one way or the other, the 'two hour' limit was completely arbitrary. I think I came to the same 'conclusion' based on my own ludditial biases some years ago.

And as for the acquisition of a foreign language, that works in your favour, perhaps, but the benefit is nullified if English is your first language.

The two-hour limit does seem arbitrary, and I'm not going to argue for or against that number as I believe whether it is indeed excessive depends on the child and just how enriched their environment is. Children are not lab rats living in controlled environments with few variables. ;) Some might have environmental factors that protect against less desirable effects of too much screen time compared to others who spend the same amount of hours but live in less stimulating environments.

Like I mentioned previously, some of the first important longitudinal studies (in which they follow cohorts of children for a number of years, sometimes many years) are being published regarding screen-based media use. People are still piecing findings together and even so, might not reach 'conclusive evidence' regarding the effects of excessive screentime in children. Which children? Children of rich parents with the means to raise them in stimulating enviroments? Poor children whose parents struggle to keep them nourished? Children growing up in which country? Which culture? And so on.

However, there is strong evidence to suggest certain skills lag behind in those who get too much screentime. Take fine motor skill development and coordination, for instance. Such a thing requires 'practice'. Children who don't move (play outside, write, draw, etc...) don't develop their motor skills as quickly as children who do.

As for second language acquisition, I used that as an example of what motivates my niece. I think a young native speaker of English could also benefit from programs teaching them how to read in their first language. It could be something else entirely, such as playing with numbers for a kid fascinated with maths, for example.
I am what survives if it's slain - Zack Hemsey