Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Is background TV harming your toddler’s language development?

Date:
June 11, 2014
Source:
Taylor & Francis
Summary:
We already know how important parent input is in developing children’s language skills, and that a reduction in child-directed language could have a negative impact on their language development. New research suggests that the presence of background TV is a significant factor in reducing this vital input, affecting both the quantity and quality of language spoken by parents to their children.

Given that the language used by parents is so intrinsically linked with child language development, the results of the study suggest that prolonged exposure to background TV has a negative influence. In light of findings that American children under 24 months watch an average 5.5 hours of background TV per day, the effect may be substantial.
Credit: StudioAraminta / Fotolia

We already know how important parent input is in developing children's language skills, and that a reduction in child-directed language could have a negative impact on their language development. New research published today suggests that the presence of background TV is a significant factor in reducing this vital input, affecting both the quantity and quality of language spoken by parents to their children.

In the study, published in the Journal of Children and Media, parents of toddlers aged 12, 24, and 36 months were observed interacting with their children while they played during a 60 minute session, with a TV program on in the background for half of that time. Background TV is defined as content designed for older children or adults. While the TV was on, the quantity of words and phrases as well as the number of new words spoken by the parents was lower than when the TV was off. However, the length of the phrases spoken was not affected.

Given that the language used by parents is so intrinsically linked with child language development, the results of the study suggest that prolonged exposure to background TV has a negative influence. In light of findings that American children under 24 months watch an average 5.5 hours of background TV per day, the effect may be substantial.

Author of the study, Tiffany A. Pempek, comments "Our new results, along with past research finding negative effects of background TV on young children's play and parent-child interaction, provide evidence that adult-directed TV content should be avoided for infants and toddlers whenever possible. Although it is impractical and probably not desirable for parents to play with their young child all of the time, children do benefit greatly from active involvement by parents during play. Ideally, parents should play with their child without the distraction of TV in the background."

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently upheld their recommendation discouraging media exposure for children under 2 years of age. While previously the guidelines focused on foreground media exposure, recent reports have noted the potential harm of background exposure as well, a form of media which parents may not be aware has any effect on their child at all. Further research is needed to ascertain if any form of media which disrupts parent-child interaction will have a similar effect, such as mobile device use, reading newspapers, or speaking on the phone.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Taylor & Francis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tiffany A. Pempek, Heather L. Kirkorian, Daniel R. Anderson. The Effects of Background Television on The Quantity and Quality of Child-directed Speech by Parents. Journal of Children and Media, 2014; DOI: 10.1080/17482798.2014.920715

Cite This Page:

Taylor & Francis. "Is background TV harming your toddler’s language development?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611102120.htm>.
Taylor & Francis. (2014, June 11). Is background TV harming your toddler’s language development?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611102120.htm
Taylor & Francis. "Is background TV harming your toddler’s language development?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611102120.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins