What effect does increased screen time have on children’s development?

This is an interesting question you can try to answer in your paper. While it has been proven that too much screen time doesn’t cause ADHD, it can possibly make ADHD symptoms worse [1]. You can make your contribution by studying the effects of electronic media on the brain.

Screen time is the time spent with any screen, including television, computers, and gaming or mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) [2]. Digital media is all content transmitted over the Internet or computer networks, on all devices. Digital media literacy is the ability to critically, effectively, and responsibly access, use, understand, and engage with media of all kinds [3].

Screen time and digital media have become ubiquitous in the lives of children, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which transformed the family media environment and spurred research on the effects of screen media exposure and use on young children [4]. This paper aims to examine how screen time affects children’s development in four main areas: cognitive, social-emotional, physical, and sleep. It also discusses the potential benefits and risks of screen media for children under 5 years old, and provides recommendations for parents, educators, and health care professionals based on evidence and expert consensus.

Cognitive development

Cognitive development refers to the growth of mental abilities such as attention, memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and language. Screen time can have both positive and negative effects on cognitive development, depending on the quality, quantity, and context of use.

Some studies have found that high-quality educational programs or apps can enhance children’s cognitive skills such as vocabulary, numeracy, literacy, and executive function [5][6][7]. However, these benefits are contingent on several factors, such as the age-appropriateness of the content, the level of interactivity and feedback, the involvement of parents or caregivers, and the integration of learning across settings [8][9].

On the other hand, excessive or inappropriate screen time can impair children’s cognitive development by displacing other activities that are more beneficial for brain growth, such as play, exploration, social interaction, and reading [10][11]. Screen time can also interfere with children’s attention span, focus, impulse control, and self-regulation by overstimulating their sensory and reward systems [12][13]. Moreover, screen time can expose children to harmful or inaccurate information that can affect their knowledge, beliefs, values, and attitudes [14][15].

Social-emotional development

Social-emotional development refers to the growth of skills such as self-awareness, self-control, empathy,

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