Home Medizin Passive Videonutzung bei Kleinkindern kann sich negativ auf die Sprachentwicklung auswirken

Passive Videonutzung bei Kleinkindern kann sich negativ auf die Sprachentwicklung auswirken

von NFI Redaktion

A new study by SMU psychologist Sarah Kucker and colleagues reveals that passive video viewing by toddlers can negatively impact language development. However, the motivations of their caregivers to expose them to digital media could mitigate the effects

The results show that children aged 17 to 30 months spend an average of almost two hours a day watching videos, a 100% increase from previous estimates before the COVID-19 pandemic. The research demonstrates a negative correlation between high levels of digital media use and children’s vocabulary development.

Children who watched videos for their soothing or „babysitting“ effect tended to use phrases and sentences with fewer words. However, the negative effects on language skills were mitigated when videos were used for educational purposes or to promote social interaction, such as video chats with family members.

„In the early years of life, language is one of the core components of development that media can influence. There is less research focused on toddlers using digital media than on older individuals. Therefore, we are striving to better understand how digital media affects this age group and what kind of screen time is beneficial and which is not.“

– Sarah Kucker, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences at SMU

The study, published in the journal Acta Paediatrica, involved 302 caregivers of children aged 17 to 30 months. Caregivers answered questions about their child’s words and sentences and how much time they spent on various media activities each day. These activities included video/TV, video games, video chat, and e-books, with caregivers explaining why they used each activity with their child. Reading printed books was also compared.

The researchers examined the extent of media use and the reasons caregivers cited for their children’s media use. These factors were then compared with the children’s vocabulary and the length of their utterances (the average length of the utterance when using two or more words together).

Kucker suggests that caregivers need to consider the type of videos their children watch, whether for learning or fun, and how they interact with toddlers watching videos. She acknowledges that parents often use digital media to keep their children occupied while they attend to tasks. Kucker recommends that caregivers consider how much digital media they allow young children to use and whether they can interact with them while using it.

The results of the study underline the need for parents, caregivers, and educators to be aware of the potential effects of digital media on the language development of children under 30 months. By understanding the types of digital media to which children are exposed and the reasons for their use, appropriate measures can be taken to ensure healthier language development.

Future research by Kucker and her colleagues will continue to examine the types of videos that young children watch, how they use screens together with others, and whether two hours of digital media viewing for young children is the new normal and, if so, its effects on language development.

Members of the research team included Rachel Barr from Georgetown University and Lynn K. Perry from the University of Miami. The research reported in this press release was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under grant number R15HD101841. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Source:

Southern Methodist University

Journal reference:

Kucker, SC, et al. (2024). Variability and patterns in children’s media use and associations with language development. Acta Paediatrica. doi.org/10.1111/apa.17100.

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