In a study recently published in JAMA Pediatrics, it was determined that screen time could have broad — and negative — impacts on brain development, particularly in children under 5.
Twenty-seven girls and 20 boys participated. For the screen time study, the researchers used a composite of 15 measures called ScreenQ that asks about access to screens, frequency of use, content viewed, and co-viewing.
“There’s access to screens, which is where is the screen? Does it sit in the bedroom? Does the child have a device? Do they use it at meals?” says coauthor John Hutton of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Frequency is the number of minutes and content was split into TV shows and apps. “Then the last one is co-viewing, which is if the child’s on a screen, are they watching with the parents, do the parents pick out what they’re watching?”
Following this, the researchers imaged the kids’ brains to study white matter. More information about the study is available here.