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      Parental Reports on Touch Screen Use in Early Childhood

      1 , * , 2

      PLoS ONE

      Public Library of Science

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          Abstract

          Touch screens are increasingly prevalent, and anecdotal evidence suggests that young children are very drawn towards them. Yet there is little data regarding how young children use them. A brief online questionnaire queried over 450 French parents of infants between the ages of 5 and 40 months on their young child’s use of touch-screen technology. Parents estimated frequency of use, and further completed several checklists. Results suggest that, among respondent families, the use of touch screens is widespread in early childhood, meaning that most children have some exposure to touch screens. Among child users, certain activities are more frequently reported to be liked than others, findings that we discuss in light of current concern for children’s employment of time and the cognitive effects of passive media exposure. Additionally, these parental reports point to clear developmental trends for certain types of interactive gestures. These results contribute to the investigation of touch screen use on early development and suggest a number of considerations that should help improve the design of applications geared towards toddlers, particularly for scientific purposes.

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          Most cited references 10

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          Skype me! Socially contingent interactions help toddlers learn language.

          Language learning takes place in the context of social interactions, yet the mechanisms that render social interactions useful for learning language remain unclear. This study focuses on whether social contingency might support word learning. Toddlers aged 24-30 months (N = 36) were exposed to novel verbs in one of three conditions: live interaction training, socially contingent video training over video chat, and noncontingent video training (yoked video). Results suggest that children only learned novel verbs in socially contingent interactions (live interactions and video chat). This study highlights the importance of social contingency in interactions for language learning and informs the literature on learning through screen media as the first study to examine word learning through video chat technology.
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            Media use by children younger than 2 years.

            In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a policy statement addressing media use in children. The purpose of that statement was to educate parents about the effects that media--both the amount and the content--may have on children. In one part of that statement, the AAP recommended that "pediatricians should urge parents to avoid television viewing for children under the age of two years." The wording of the policy specifically discouraged media use in this age group, although it is frequently misquoted by media outlets as no media exposure in this age group. The AAP believed that there were significantly more potential negative effects of media than positive ones for this age group and, thus, advised families to thoughtfully consider media use for infants. This policy statement reaffirms the 1999 statement with respect to media use in infants and children younger than 2 years and provides updated research findings to support it. This statement addresses (1) the lack of evidence supporting educational or developmental benefits for media use by children younger than 2 years, (2) the potential adverse health and developmental effects of media use by children younger than 2 years, and (3) adverse effects of parental media use (background media) on children younger than 2 years.
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              The immediate impact of different types of television on young children's executive function.

              The goal of this research was to study whether a fast-paced television show immediately influences preschool-aged children's executive function (eg, self-regulation, working memory). Sixty 4-year-olds were randomly assigned to watch a fast-paced television cartoon or an educational cartoon or draw for 9 minutes. They were then given 4 tasks tapping executive function, including the classic delay-of-gratification and Tower of Hanoi tasks. Parents completed surveys regarding television viewing and child's attention. Children who watched the fast-paced television cartoon performed significantly worse on the executive function tasks than children in the other 2 groups when controlling for child attention, age, and television exposure. Just 9 minutes of viewing a fast-paced television cartoon had immediate negative effects on 4-year-olds' executive function. Parents should be aware that fast-paced television shows could at least temporarily impair young children's executive function.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                2015
                17 June 2015
                : 10
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique (ENS, EHESS, CNRS), Département d’Etudes Cognitives, Ecole Normale Supérieure, PSL Research University, Paris, France
                [2 ]Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
                Goldsmiths, University of London, UNITED KINGDOM
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: AC AS. Performed the experiments: AC. Analyzed the data: AC. Wrote the paper: AC AS.

                Article
                PONE-D-14-30796
                10.1371/journal.pone.0128338
                4470913
                26083848

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 2, Pages: 20
                Product
                Funding
                This work was supported by AC Agence Nationale de la Recherche ANR-10-LABX-0087 IEC and AC Agence Nationale de la Recherche ANR-10-IDEX-0001-02 PSL*. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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                Research Article
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                Data are available from https://osf.io/2m8iv/files/.

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