The Dangers Of Using Digital Devices As Babysitters

The Risks Of Using Digital Devices As Babysitters

Psychology News

A team of researchers at the University of Michigan explored the drawbacks of digital devices as babysitters. The study is published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

The Study

The researchers surveyed 422 parents and 422 children between the ages of 3-5 years. They analyzed caregiver responses to how they used devices and screen time for kids’ emotional dysregulation over a six-month period.

The Findings

The results revealed that kids’ tech–use can backfire on parents, especially if the devices are directed to control meltdowns or other symptoms of emotional reactivity in children.

Using digital devices to soothe young children’s tantrums enhances their hyperactivity and impulsiveness and makes them more likely to react intensely to feelings like anger, frustration, and sadness.

The authors added: “Using mobile devices to settle down a young child may seem like a harmless, temporary tool to reduce stress in the household, but there may be long-term consequences if it’s a regular go-to soothing strategy. Particularly in early childhood, devices may displace opportunities for the development of independent and alternative methods to self-regulate.

To Know More You May Refer To

Radesky, J. S., Kaciroti, N., Weeks, H. M., Schaller, A., & Miller, A. L. (2022). Longitudinal Associations Between Use of Mobile Devices for Calming and Emotional Reactivity and Executive Functioning in Children Aged 3 to 5 Years. JAMA pediatrics, 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.4793. Advance online publication.

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