21st ANNUAL EARLY HEARING DETECTION & INTERVENTION CONFERENCE

March 13 - 15, 2022 • Cincinnati, OH

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 How Screen Time Affects Children’s Language and Communication Development: Lena Analysis

Children today are growing up in a vastly different world than those just 20 years prior due to the prevalence of virtual learning, teletherapy, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic. With technology’s deep-seated roots in modern society, young children spend unprecedented portions of their day fiddling with iPhones, tapping at iPads, and staring at computer or TV screens. A nationally-representative survey revealed that sixty-eight percent of children below two years of age are, on average, exposed to at least 2 hours of screen time per day, exceeding the recommended time of one hour per day advised by the American Academy of Pediatrics (“Media Use by Children Younger than 2 Years”, 2011). Caregivers of children from the ages of 2-17 report that their children spend approximately 1 hour and 37 minutes a day on their computer, not including time spent on video games or all other screen media (Singer & Singer, 2012). Indeed, so much of these children’s time is spent with their eyes mindlessly glued to screens that it leaves professionals, parents, and caregivers wondering: is it possible that this screen time could negatively affect a child’s early development? This study used the Language ENvironmentAnalysis (LENA) technology to measure the daily auditory environments of 4 normally developing children between the ages of 1.5 years and 5.5 years in order to better understand the effects of technology and screen time in their environment. When solely focusing on the association between screen time and communication, the households that had less electronic media exposure demonstrated higher linguistic outcomes. These results can encourage parents to increase talk and conversation across multiple environments to unlock the full social and communicative abilities of their child, in addition to motivating them to reduce screen time within the home in order to provide every advantage possible for language development.

  • An environment without screen time or background screen time is optimal for children’s language and communication development.
  • The first several years of a child’s life is a crucial time for brain development, during this time is when the brain is most receptive to learning a new language as well as building communication pathways that are crucial for the child’s lifelong language development (Meehan, et al., 2019)
  • While technology has provided possible threats on communication development through an overabundance of screen time, it has also presented many advantages in our field. For example, virtual learning, teletherapy, and even the LENA technology used in this study, are perfect examples for utilizing technology to support and build early language and literacy in our field.

Poster:
23278_13732MorganneBlechle.pdf


Presenter: Morganne Blechle


ASHA DISCLOSURE:

Financial -
No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial -
No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.

Presenter: Kateri Vaughn


ASHA DISCLOSURE:

Financial -
No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial -
No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.