The following is excerpted from an online article posted by ScienceDaily.
The amount of screen time spent by one-year-olds is associated with developmental delays. This finding, by researchers at Tohoku University, with collaborators at Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, was published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
The research examined 7,097 mother-child pairs participating in the Tohoku Medical Megabank Project Birth and Three-Generation Cohort Study. Each child’s screen time exposure was assessed using parental questionnaires, covering viewing of televisions, video game displays, tablets, mobile phones and other electronic devices with visual displays.
The children in the study were almost evenly split between boys (51.8%) and girls (48.2%). Their screen time exposure was assigned to the categories of less than one hour (48.5% of subjects), from one to less than two hours (29.5%), from two to less than four hours (17.9%), and four or more hours (4.1%).
The children’s development was assessed at two and four years of age in the five domains of communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem-solving, and personal and social skills. Previous studies in the field have generally not broken development down into different domains, therefore offering a less refined view.
For the children aged two, increased screen time when aged one was associated with developmental delays in all domains apart from gross motor skills. By the age of four however, increased screen time was associated with developmental delays in only the communication and problem-solving domains.
“The differing levels of developmental delays in the domains, and the absence of any detected delay in some of them at each stage of life examined, suggests that the domains should be considered separately in future discussions of the association between screen time and child development,” says Tohoku University epidemiologist Taku Obara, corresponding author of the research article.