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Digital Childhood:. Electronic Media in Young Children’s Lives Elizabeth A. Vandewater Public Health and Environment Research Triangle Institute. Funding. Primary Funding: National Science Foundation (BCS-0623856 )

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Digital Childhood:


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    1. Digital Childhood: Electronic Media in Young Children’s Lives Elizabeth A. Vandewater Public Health and Environment Research Triangle Institute

    2. Funding Primary Funding: National Science Foundation (BCS-0623856) IRADS Collaborative Research: Influences of Digital Media on Very Young Children Other Sources of Funding: The Kaiser Family Foundation Monitoring Young Children’s Technology Use Brainy Baby Corporation Video as a Teaching Tool for Infants and Toddlers Disney Corporation Infant Video Viewing and Language Development

    3. Young Children’s Media Landscape in the Millennium: 2000 • Children use electronic media 2-5 hours daily • More time with television than any other single activity except sleep • Explosion of products marketed to the very young • Baby Einstein, Baby Mozart • Computer “Lapware” • Preschool Video Games • Yet, we knew relatively little about the impact of this use. • Vast majority of existing work focused on older children

    4. Rising Concerns • American Academy of Pediatrics (2001) • No screen time – children < 2 • No more than 2 hours daily after that • Children’s bedrooms should be TV free • Recommendations based on scant empirical evidence

    5. Digital childhood: Electronic media use among infants, toddlers and preschoolers Vandewater, E. A., Rideout, V., Wartella, E. A., Huang, X., Lee, J. H., & Shim, M. (2007). Pediatrics, 119, e1006-e1015

    6. Research Questions: • How much media do young children (0-6) use? • How much access to media do they have in the home? • How many young children fall within the American Academy of Pediatrics media-use guidelines?

    7. How much media do young children use?

    8. How much access to media do they have in the home?

    9. Parents reasons for putting TV in their young child’s bedroom

    10. How many young children fall within the AAP media-use guidelines?

    11. Conclusions • Young children growing up in a media saturated environment • Media and technology part of the fabric of their daily lives • Few parents follow the AAP Guidelines • Consequences & Developmental Implications?

    12. Video as a Teaching Tool for Infants and Toddlers: Can Babies Learn from Commercially Available Video?

    13. Two Studies: • Can infants and toddlers learn a novel shape from video? • Brainy Baby “Shapes & Colors” • Does viewing a language based infant video impact infant language development? • Baby Einstein “Baby Wordsworth: First words around the house”

    14. Study Design: • Post-test only design • Novel shape – the crescent • Randomly assigned to one of two conditions: • Experimental (n = 32): 10 minutes with Brainy Baby’s Baby Shapes 1 DVD - lessons on circles, squares, rectangles, triangles and crescents • Control (n = 26): 10 minutes with the same DVD – lessons on crescents replaced with video of toys dancing • Community Sample • Austin, TX and surrounding areas • Descriptive Statistics • Age range 13 to 33 months – Mean age 21.95 Months. (SD = 5.21) • Total N = 58 • 57% Boys, 43% Girls • Avg. Family Monthly Income = $ 6,208

    15. Study Design:Procedure • Children watched the video at home • Parents were asked to show children the video a minimum of 5 times per week for a three week period • Children were brought to the lab for testing • Roughly 5 minute warm-up period • 3 minute refresher video clip from the research video • Identifying shapes for the experimenter by pointing them out in a picture book

    16. Major Findings • Experimental group was 9 times more likely to identify the crescent than the control group • The same results hold for children who were 24 months or less • No difference between the groups on children’s ability to identify any other shapes

    17. Differences in shape recognition for whole sample

    18. Differences in shape recognition for children under 24 months old

    19. The Effect of Video on Infant Word Learning Assessing the educational impact of Baby Einstein

    20. Background: • Virtually all infant videos claim to be “educational” • When asked how they know – “Children like it” • Current literature on the impact of video on language development is mixed: • Some have found that word learning from video is possible (Krcmar, Grela, & Lin, 2007; Linebarger & Walker, 2005) • Some have found no relationship (DeLoache et al., under review; Robb, Richert & Wartella., in press) • Still others have found negative relationships (Chonchaiya & Pruksananonda, 2008; Zimmerman et al., 2007)

    21. Our Question: • Given that only 30% of children under age of 2 follow AAP guidelines • Does viewing language based, commercially available infant video harm, not harm, or foster infant language development? • Harm - infants exposed to video should show fewer language gains over time • No harm - no difference in language gains over time in children exposed • Foster - infants exposed to video should show greater language gains over time

    22. Study Design:Condition • Randomly assigned to one of two conditions: • Experimental Group (n = 126): Mailed a Baby Wordsworth DVD and asked to show it to child at least 2 times a week for next 4 weeks. • Control Group (n = 131): Given instructions to keep child from being exposed to Baby Wordsworth DVD over next 12 weeks.

    23. Experimental Longitudinal Design: • Age range: 8 to 15 months at baseline (M=11.24, SD=2.28) • Sample drawn from online panel provided by Survey Sampling International (SSI) • Data collected via parental report on Web-based surveys • Descriptive Statistics • Baseline N = 453 • Analysis N = 257 (completed all 3 waves; 56% retention rate) • 51% Boys, 48% Girls • 81% White, 7% Black, 2% Latino, 4% Pacific Islander, 6% Native American or Other

    24. Language Outcomes • Receptive and Expressive Language • Receptive – Words understood • Expressive – Words spoken • Communicative Development Inventory (CDI) • 89 words understood / spoken vocabulary checklist • DVD words understood/spoken • 10 words already included in CDI • ball, book, chair, couch, cup, home, lamp, kitchen, table, blanket • 11 words exclusively in DVD • bear, bed, bedroom, blocks, bowl, cat, puzzle, refrigerator, telephone, tree, window

    25. Major Findings • Children exposed to the video had a higher receptive vocabulary (words understood) at the end of the study • The two groups did not differ on expressive vocabulary (words spoken). • Main reason the experimental group scored higher on the CDI was because of the 10 words the CDI shared with DVD script.

    26. OLS Regressions: Receptive Language

    27. OLS Regressions Predicting Receptive Language at Final Testing

    28. Mean Differences in CDI Words Understood Over Time Sig* n.s. n.s. MANCOVA Results: Time Main effect, Λ = .96, F (2, 238) = 4.01, p < .05 Time x Experiment interaction, Λ = .97, F (2, 238) = 2.81, p < .05

    29. Mean Differences in DVD Words Understood Over Time Sig* n.s. n.s. MANCOVA Results: Time Main effect, Λ = .97, F (2, 238) = 3.05, p < .05; Time x Experiment interaction, Λ = .97, F (2, 238) = 3.03, P < .05

    30. Conclusions • Findings suggest that young children can learn from video, even children under the age of two • Content is key • Language Development – May take longer to become evident than existing studies have run

    31. Digital Childhood: Electronic Media in Young Children’s Lives Elizabeth A. Vandewater Public Health and Environment Research Triangle Institute