Screen Exposure During Daily Routines and a Young Child’s Risk for Having Social-Emotional Delay

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Abstract

This cross-sectional study assessed associations between social-emotional development in young children and their number of daily routines involving an electronic screen. We hypothesized children with poor social-emotional development have a significant portion of daily routines occurring with a screen. Two hundred and ten female caregivers of typically developing children 12 to 36 months old completed the Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social-Emotional (ASQ: SE) and a media diary. Caregivers completed the diary for 1 day around 10 daily routines (Waking Up, Diapering/Toileting, Dressing, Breakfast, Lunch, Naptime, Playtime, Dinner, Bath, and Bedtime). Median number of daily routines occurring with a screen for children at risk and not at risk for social-emotional delay (as defined by the ASQ: SE) was 7 versus 5. Children at risk for social-emotional delay were 5.8 times more likely to have ≥5 routines occurring with a screen as compared to children not at risk for delay (χ12 = 9.28, N = 210, P = .002; 95% confidence interval = 1.66-20.39).

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