- More toddler screen time is linked to worse developmental screen performance when the children reach preschool age.
- The reverse association did not hold, however, suggesting that children with lower scores did not necessarily have more screen time because of behavioral factors.
Why this matters
- These authors say that “excessive screen time can impinge on children’s ability to develop optimally.”
- They recommend that clinicians guide parents regarding appropriate exposure levels.
- Screen time levels at 24 and 36 months were associated with developmental screening outcomes at 36 and 60 months:
- 36 months: β coefficient, −0.08 (95% CI, −0.13 to −0.02); and
- 60 months: β, −0.06 (95% CI, −0.13 to −0.02).
- Individual-level differences were substantial.
- Longitudinal cohort All Our Families study, Canada (October 20, 2011 to October 6, 2016).
- 3 waves involving 2441 mothers and children.
- Data for children taken at ages 24, 36, and 60 months.
- Screen time reports and Ages and Stages questionnaire used.
- Mean screen time (hours/week):
- 24 months: 17.09 (standard deviation, 11.99);
- 36 months: 24.99 (12.97); and
- 60 months: 10.85 (5.33).
- Funding: Alberta Innovates Health Solutions Interdisciplinary Team; Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation; Canada Research Chairs.
- Screen time behaviors could have changed during study.
- Content quality not assessed.