014: Understanding the AAP’s new screen time guidelines

The American Academy of Pediatrics just updated its screen time recommendations - and, for the first time, we can actually see and understand the research on which the recommendations are based.  They're a bit more nuanced than the previous versions, so join me as we walk through what the recommendations mean for parents of babies and toddlers - whether or not your children have been using screens until now.  We'll look at the impact particularly of TV on cognitive development, obesity, and prosocial vs. antisocial behavior. News flash: if you're not watching and discussing shows WITH your child, he may be learning antisocial behavior from even the most innocuous of PBS programming. This is the first in a two-part series on screen time.  Here we focus on what science says about the impacts on development.  In the second part we'll examine what we can do about mitigating these impacts and on harnessing some of the good that digital media can do for our kids, since they are growing up in a world where the use of digital media is a fact of life. References Alade, F., Rasmussen, E., & Christy, K. (2014). The relation between television exposure and executive function among preschoolers. Developmental Psychology 50(5), 1497-1506. Full article available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259845495_The_Relation_Between_Television_Exposure_and_Executive_Function_Among_Preschoolers American Academy of Pediatrics (n.d.) Media and Children. Retrieved from: https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Pages/Media-and-Children.aspx?rf=32524&nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR%3a+No+local+token Barr, R. (2013). Memory constraints on infant learning from picture books, television, and touchscreens. Child Development Perspectives 7(4), 205-210. Full article available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259074650_Memory_Constraints_on_Infant_Learning_From_Picture_Books_Television_and_Touchscreens Beales III, J.H., & Kulick, R. (2013). Does advertising on television cause childhood obesity? Journal of Public Policy & Marketing 32(2), 185-194. Blankson, A.N., O’Brien, M., Leerkes, E.M., Calkins, S.D., & Marcovitch, S. (2015). Do hours spent viewing television at ages 3 and 4 predict vocabulary and executive functioning at age 5? Merrill-Palmer Quarterly 61(2), 264-289. Bronson, P. & Merryman, A. (2009). Nurtureshock. New York: Twelve. Christakis, D.A., Gilkerson, J., Richards, J.A., Zimmerman, F.J., Garrison, M.M., Xu, D., Gray, S., & Yapanel, U. (2009). Audible television and decreased adult words, infant vocalizations, and conversational turns. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Journal 163(6), 554-559. Full article available at: https://sites.oxy.edu/clint/physio/article/AudibleTelevisionandDecreasedAdultWordsInfantVocalizationsandConversationalTurns.pdf Gentile, D.A., Coyne, S., & Walsh, D.A. (2010). Media violence, physical aggression, and relational aggression in school age children: A short-term longitudinal study. Aggressive Behavior 37, 193-206. DOI: 10.1002/ab.20380 Halford, J.C.G., Gillespie, J., Brown, V., Pontin, E.E., & Dovey, T.M. (2003). Effect of television advertisements for foods on food consumption in children. Appetite 42, 221-225. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2003.11.006 Halford, J.C.G., Boyland, E.J., Hughes, G., Oliveira, L.P., & Dovey, T.M. (2007). Beyond-brand effect of television (TV) food advertisements/commercials on caloric intake and food choice of 5-7-year-old children. Appetite 49, 263-267. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2006.12.003 Healthychildren.org (n.d.). Family media plan. Retrieved from: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/media/Pages/default.aspx#home Janz, K.F., Levy, S.M., Burns, T.L., Torner, J.C., Willing, M.C., & Warren, J.J. (2002). Fatness, physical activity, and television viewing in children during the adiposity rebound period: The Iowa bone development study....

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