[1531.472] Relationship between Cognitive Development and Touchscreen Device Usage in Infants and Toddlers

Clayton Li, Meredith Akerman, Janet Lee, Chuck Ng, Maria Mendoza, Anna Krevskaya, Krish Suresh, Ruth Milanaik. Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Cohen Children's Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY; Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.

BACKGROUND: The 2011 AAP policy (which predated the rising use of “new media” such as smart phones and tablets) discouraged the use of electronic media by children younger than age 2 citing potential adverse developmental effects and lack of evidence of educational benefit. The new 2013 AAP policy recognizes “important positive and prosocial effects of media use” but does not address children ages 0-3. The relationship between touchscreen device usage (TDU) and cognitive development (CD) of children younger than 3 years has yet to be studied.
OBJECTIVE: 1. To assess TDU in infants and toddlers. 2. To identify association between of TDU and CD.
DESIGN/METHODS: A questionnaire was given to parents of high-risk infants and toddlers to assess TDU. Results were paired to the child's Cognitive Adaptive Test/Clinical Linguistic Auditory Milestone Scale (CAT/CLAMS) development quotient (DQ) scores. Bivariate associations were examined using the two-sample t-test.
RESULTS: Of 65 families, 63 (97%) reported owning a touchscreen device (TSD). Of these, 44 (70%) reported TDU by a child of age <3. The mean chronological age of children who did and did not use a TSD was significantly different (17.4±9.2 months vs. 9.4±5.9 months, p<0.001). Mean age at initial TDU was 11.2±7.6months, and daily TDU ranged from 1-240 minutes with a median of 17.5 minutes. The most common forms of TDU reported were: watching children's “educational shows" (30%), using educational applications (26%), and pressing buttons on the screen aimlessly (28%). 60% of parents reported “educational benefits” of TDU as a reason for child TDU. 57% believed “other children” have higher TDU. There was no significant difference in CAT/CLAMS DQs between children with and without TDU (CAT 99.6 ± 19.5 vs. 103.4 ± 19.8; CLAMS 104.0 ± 24.0 vs. 113.5 ± 26.2). Children who played “non-educational games” during TDU had lower CLAMS DQs than those who did not (86.5 ± 34.2 vs. 106.7 ± 21.4; p<=.055).
CONCLUSIONS: Although the majority of surveyed parents believed TDU had educational benefits, developmental scores showed no significant difference between children with and without TDU. Children who played non-educational games had lower receptive & expressive language scores compared to children who engaged in other types of TDU. A causal relationship is not implied as children with slower language development may prefer playing non-educational games.
First Author is a Undergraduate Student

Session: Poster Session: Developmental / Behavioral Pediatrics (1:00 PM - 4:00 PM)
Date/Time: Saturday, May 3, 2014 - 1:00 PM
Room: Exhibit Hall C - Vancouver Convention Centre
Board: 472
Course Code: 1531


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