Professor Teams Up with M.D.'s, Other Researchers to Prove Screen Time Impacts Child Development | Kent State University

Professor Teams Up with M.D.'s, Other Researchers to Prove Screen Time Impacts Child Development

Jennifer McCullough
School of Communication Studies Assistant Professor Jennifer M. McCullough, Ph.D., co-authored “Screen Exposure During Daily Routines and a Young Child’s Risk for Having Social-Emotional Delay” in Clinical Pediatrics, Vol. 56, No. 5, 2017, 1244-1253.

 

“Dr. Raman was a Pediatric Fellow at Akron’s Children Hospital, and she was concerned about how screen time may be interrupting important routines which are an important part of social-emotional development," McCullough said. "The study was supported by an Akron Children’s Hospital Foundation Research Fund grant to further look at what the impact of screen time on children may be."

 

Her co-writers included: Sajani Raman, M.D., Progressive Pediatrics and The Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities - Staten Island; Sara Guerrero-Duby, M.D., Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and Dayton Children’s Hospital; Miraides Brown, M.S., Akron Children’s Hospital; Sarah Ostrowski-Delahanty, Ph.D., Akron Children’s Hospital; Diane Langkamp, M.D., Akron Children’s Hospital and Northeast Ohio Medical University; and John C. Duby, M.D., Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and Dayton Children’s Hospital.

 

According to the authors’ abstract, the cross-sectional study examined associations between social-emotional development in young children aged 12 to 36 months and their number of daily routines involving an electronic screen. Children at risk for social-emotional delay were 5.8 times more likely to have five or more routines occurring with a screen as compared to children not at risk for delay.

 

“It is necessary for parents and pediatricians to be aware of the importance of routines (breakfast, diapering, bath time, etc.) and how screen time could interrupt these activities,” McCullough said. "(This study) highlights the importance of communication studies researchers collaborating with other interested parties, like pediatricians, to help answer questions regarding child development because it helps communication research reach a different audience.”