Young children and screen time: Creating a mindful approach to digital technology
AbstractTo effectively address early childhood screen time concerns raised by parents and policy makers it is important to examine the current home digital environments of young children. The present study draws upon research which examined the home digital environment of Australian parents and their children (aged 2 to 4; N = 69). Parents completed a questionnaire that asked how many digital devices families had at home, how much time children spend on them, and how easily children could operate them. The extent of parental engagement in digital activities and parent views on touch screen tablets were also measured. TVs and touch screen tablets were the most popular digital device among pre-schoolers being used on average for 80 mins and 20 mins per day respectively. Parents rated touch screen tablets as the easiest device for young children to operate. It is suggested that a differentiated screen time policy approach for TVs and tablets is needed to better address screen time concerns. Practical ways to help parents create a mindful approach to digital technology to foster positive screen time interactions is also discussed.
American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Public Education. (2001). Children, adolescents, and television. Pediatrics, 107, 423-426.
Anderson, D. R., Hutson, A. C., Schmitt, K. L., Linebarger, D. L., & Wright, J. C. (2001). Early childhood television viewing and adolescent behaviour: the recontact study. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 66, vii-147.
Australian Government Department of Health. (2014). Australia's Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/health-pubhlth-strateg- phys-act-guidelines.
Blackwell, C. K., Lauricella, A. R., Wartella, E. (2014). Factors influencing digital technology use in early childhood education. Computers and Education, 77, 82-90.
Christakis, D. A., & Zimmerman, F. J., (2007). Violent television viewing during preschool is associated with antisocial behavior during school age. Pediatrics, 113, 708-713.
Christakis, D. A., Zimmerman, F. J., DiGiuseppe, D. L., & McCarty, C. A. (2004). Early television exposure and subsequent attention problems in children. Pediatrics, 133, 708-713.
Conn, C. (2012). Managing and maximising a class set of iPads. Learning and Leading with Technology, June/July, 32-33.
Connell, S. L., Lauricella, A. R., & Wartella, E. (2015). Parental co-use of media technology with their young children in the USA. Journal of Children and Media, 9, 5-21, DOI: 10.1080/17482798.2015.997440.
Downes, T. (2002). Children’s and families’ use of computers in Australian homes. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 3, 182-196.
Ebbeck, M., Yim, H. Y. B., Chan, Y., & Goh, M. (2015). Singaporean Parents’ Views of Their Young Children’s Access and Use of Technological Devices. Early Childhood Education Journal, in press, DOI 10.1007/s10643-015-0695-4
Ernest, J. M., Causey, C., Newton, A. B., Sharkins, K., Summerlin, J., & Albaiz, N. (2014). Extending the global dialogue about media, technology, screen time, and young children. Childhood Education, 90, 182-191.
Geist, E. (2014). Using tablet computers with toddlers and young pre-schoolers. Young Children, 69, 58-63.
Hancox, R. J., & Poulton, R. (2006). Watching television is associated with childhood obesity: but is it clinically important? International Journal of Obesity, 30, 171–175.
Hatherly, A., & Chapman, B. (2013). Fostering motivation for literacy in early childhood education using iPads. Computers in New Zealand Schools: Learning, Teaching, Technology, 25, 138-151.
Hisrich, K., & Blanchard, J. (2009). Digital media and emergent literacy. Computers in the Schools, 26, 240-255.
Hollingshead, A. B. (1975). The four-factor index of social status. Unpublished manuscript. Yale University, New Haven, CT.
Karuppiah, N. (2015). Computer habits and behaviours among young children in Singapore, Early Child Development and Care, 185, 393-408, DOI:10.1080/03004430.2014.930451.
Korat, O. (2001). Cultural pedagogy and bridges to literacy: Home and kindergarten. Early Childhood Education Journal, 28, 225-230.
Lauricella, A. R., Wartella, E., & Rideout, V. (2015). Young children’s screen time: The complex role of parent and child factors. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 36, 11-17.
Lee, L. (2015). Digital media and young children’s learning: A case study of using iPads in American preschools, International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 5, 947-950.
Levy, R. (2009). ‘You have to understand words…but not read them’: young children becoming readers in a digital age. Journal of Research in Reading, 32, 75-91. Doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9817.2088.01382.x
Linebarger, D. L., & Walker, D. (2005). Infants’ and Toddlers’ Television Viewing and Language Outcomes. American Behavioral Scientist, 48, 624-645
Livingstone, S., Marsh, J., Plowman, L., Ottovordemgentschenfelde, S., & Fletcher-Watson, B. (2014). Young children (0-8) and digital technology: a qualitative exploratory study national report - UK. Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Luxembourg. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/60799/
Marsh, J. (2005). Children of the digital age. In M. Marsh, (Eds.), Popular Culture, NewMedia and Digital Literacy in Early Childhood (pp. 1-10). New York, NY:RoutledgeFalmer.
Marsh, J., Yamada-Rice, D., Bishop, J., Lahmar, J., Scott, F., Plowman, L., Piras, M., French, K., Robinson, P., Davis, S., Bird, A., Winter, P. (2015). Exploring Play and Creativity in Pre-Schoolers’ Use of Apps: Technology and Play. Economic and Social Research Council. http://www.techandplay.org/tap-media-pack.pdf
Michael Cohen Group & USDOE [US Department of Education]. (2011). Young children, apps and iPad. New York, NY: Michael Cohen Group.
Nikken, P. & Jansz, J. (2014). Developing scales to measure parental mediation of young children’s internet use. Learning, Media, and Technology, 39, 250-266, DOI: 10.1080/17439884.2013.782038.
Ofcom (2014) Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report. London: Office of Communications. http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/media-literacy/media-use-attitudes-14/Childrens_2014_Report.pdf
O’Mara, J., & Laidlaw, L. (2011). Living in the iworld: Two literacy researchers reflect on the changing texts and literacy practices of childhood. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 10, 149-159.
Penuel, W. R., Bates, L., Gallagher, L. P., Pasnik, S., Llorente, C., Townsend, E., Hupert, N., Domíngueza, X., & VanderBorght, M. (2012). Supplementing Literacy Instruction with a Media Rich Intervention: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27, 115-127.
Plowman, L., Stevenson, O., McPake, J., Stephen, C., & Adey, C. (2012). Parents, pre-schoolers and learning with technology at home: some implications for policy. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 27, 361-371.
Plowman, L., Stevenson, O., Stephen, C., & McPake, J. (2012). Preschool children’s learning with technology at home. Computers and Education, 59, 30-37.
Plowman L., & McPake, J. (2013). Seven myths about young children and technology. Childhood Education, 89, 27-33.
Rideout, V. (2011). Zero to eight: children’s media use in America. San Francisco, CA: Common Sense Media.
Sweetser , P., Johnson, D., Ozdowska, A., Wyeth, P. (2012). Active versus passive screen time for young children. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 37, 94-98.
Tahnk, J. L. (2011). Digital milestones: Raising a tech-savvy kid. Parenting Early Years, 25, 78-84.
Vanderwater, E. A., Bickham, D. S., Lee, J. H., Cummings, H. M., Wartella, E. A., & Rideout, V. J. (2005). When the television is always on: heavy television exposure and young children’s development. American Behavioral Scientist, 48, 562-577.
Veldhuis, L., van Grieken, A., Renders, C. M., HiraSing, R. A., & Raat, H. (2014). Parenting style, the home environment, and screen time of 5-year-old children; The ‘Be Active, Eat Right’ Study. PLoS ONE, 9, p 1-9. e88486. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088486
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).