Smart devices hinder children’s emotional development: Study | Jobs Reply


The study follows a growing body of evidence showing that virtual learning during the pandemic caused children to gain weight, fall behind academically, and experience spikes in clinical anxiety and hopelessness.

  • 422 parents and their children were involved in the study.  (Getty Images)
    422 parents and their children were involved in the study. (Getty Images)

A new study reveals that using smart devices to distract or calm infants during tantrums may hinder their healthy emotional development and make them more volatile over time.

The study, which involved 422 parents and their children, between 3-5 years of age, was released on Monday in JAMA Pediatrics. The study, which was carried out from August 2018 to January 2020 by five researchers, found that young people who used mobile phones or tablets to calm themselves made worse decisions after three and six months , and that they were more irate.

In response to a questionnaire, parents of energetic men and children showed the most significant reductions in executive functioning and peaks in emotional reactivity on a 5-point scale.

“While using videos, apps, or photos on a device may be effective in distracting or relieving a young child’s distress in the moment, the results of this study suggest that this practice may become more of a habit more often with emotionally reactive children and that this may worsen their emotion regulation skills over time,” the researchers said.

The study’s lead author, developmental-behavioral pediatrician Jenny Radesky, said using technology to quiet a crying or yelling adolescent can promote unwanted behavior by providing a “pleasant reward.”

“Since smartphones and tablets entered our homes, parents have wondered how much they are used as a behavioral tool, and this study suggests that they are probably not being used as emotion regulators at this time,” said she as mentioned by The Washington Times.

Young children are also using electronics to relieve strong emotions

The study follows a growing body of evidence showing that virtual learning during the pandemic caused children to gain weight, fall behind academically, and experience spikes in clinical anxiety and hopelessness.

The study released Monday supports claims that young children are engaging in “overuse of electronics to relieve strong emotions,” according to the Arizona parenting expert and author.

On its account, the American Academy of Pediatrics has warned that no screen time is recommended for infants under 2 and no more than an hour per day for children between 2 and 5 years of age.

According to Laura DeCook, founder of California-based LDC Wellbeing, smart devices shorten children’s attention spans and make it harder for them to focus.

“Physically, spending time on screens instead of exercise and play can lead to issues like childhood obesity and chronic neck and back problems,” said Ms. DeCook.

Although the study was conducted before the COVID-19 outbreak, mental health experts believe that over the past two years, the harm caused by devices to children has only worsened.



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