from the world's big
Want your kid to cut down screen-time? Put away your phone, study suggests
Also, don't offer screen-time as a reward for good behavior.
- A recent study tracked the media habits of families with preschool-age children.
- The results found that the screen-time of mothers was positively associated with the screen-time of their children, and that offering screens as a reward for good behavior is also linked to increased screen-time among kids.
- It's important to study the effects of technology on preschool-age children because they're at a stage in development when it's especially easy to form habits and routines that carry on into adulthood.
Are you concerned about the amount of time your kids spend looking at screens? One effective step you can take right now is to set an example for your child by putting down your phone, turning off the TV or closing your laptop, suggests new research.
The study, published in the journal BMC Obesity, focused on the relationships between parents and their children's screen use, and how different parenting practices, such as offering screen-time as a reward for good behavior, affect children's screen use.
The researchers examined the media habits of about 40 families, all comprised of a mother, father and at least one child aged 1.5 to 5 years old, through questionnaires that measured:
- How much time parents and their kids spent on screens
- How parents engage with screens in front of their kids
- How parents monitor or limit their children's screen use, including when they allow kids to use screens
The results on screen-time, which included television, computers, video games, tablets and smartphones, showed that kids spent about an hour-and-a-half looking at screens per day during the week, and a bit more than two hours per day on weekends. Meanwhile, parents spent more time on screens: about two hours per day during the week, and two-and-a-half hours per day on weekends.
What practices are associated with more screen use among children?
Offering screen-time as a reward for good behavior was positively associated with screen use among children. This finding echoes previous studies showing that when parents offer food, TV time or play to their kids as a reward for good behavior, kids are more likely to engage in those same behaviors in the future.
The amount of time parents spent using screens in front of their children also had a positive association with their kids' screen use. However, this effect was only observed among mothers in the study, results that support a previous study that "found that television time of mothers, but not fathers, was positively associated with their children's television time."
In the current study, the researchers suggested this might be explained by the fact that mothers are still the primary caregivers in Canada, despite increased gender diversity in the workplace, and so they spend more time with their kids.
Finally, the study found that kids who were allowed to use screens during mealtime were more likely to spend more time on screens in general.
Forming media habits in childhood
One reason it's important to study screen use among preschool-age kids is that they're at a developmental stage during which routines and habits are more easily established. They also might be especially vulnerable to the consequences of technology use.
A 2017 study published in Paediatrics & Child Health cited past research that's found:
- Associations between heavy early screen exposure (more than 2 hours/day by infants younger than 12 months in one study) and significant language delays
- An association between screen-time and attentional difficulties is mixed, with negative effects only clearly apparent when exposure is extremely high (i.e., more than 7 hours/day)
- High exposure to background TV has been found to negatively affect language use and acquisition, attention, cognitive development and executive function in children younger than 5 years.
- The inability of young children (especially those younger than 2 years) to distinguish everyday reality from what happens on screen, along with their efforts to make sense of competing experiential realms, may interfere with and impede executive function.
- Study: screen time isn’t hurting kids socially ›
- Study: screen time isn’t hurting kids socially - Big Think ›
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Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?
- From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
- "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
- Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.
A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.
- The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
- The study aims to explore whether the disease causes cognitive impairment and other conditions.
- Recent research suggests that COVID-19 can, directly or indirectly, cause brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage and other neurological problems.
Brain images of a patient with acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis.
COVID-19 and the brain<p>A growing body of research reveals alarming neurological complications among COVID-19 patients. On Wednesday, for example, researchers from University College London published a <a href="https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/doi/10.1093/brain/awaa240/5868408" target="_blank">study</a> in the journal Brain that describes how some patients have suffered temporary brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage, and other neurological problems concurrent with COVID-19.</p><p>Some patients suffered brain inflammation as a result of a rare disease called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which can cause numbness, seizures, and confusion. One patient in the study even hallucinated monkeys and lions in her home.</p>
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images<p>A separate study published in the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7198407/" target="_blank">Journal of Clinical Neuroscience</a> notes that some COVID-19 patients have also suffered neurological complications like impaired consciousness and acute cerebrovascular disease. The study notes that past viruses like MERS and SARS also seemed to cause neurological problems.</p><p>A troubling finding among this growing body of research is that some patients seem to suffer neurological damage even when respiratory symptoms aren't obvious. Additionally, scientists aren't sure whether damage from the disease will be permanent.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Given that the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause," Dr. Ross Paterson, joint first author of the University College London study, said in a <a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/ucl-iid070620.php" target="_blank">press release</a>. "Doctors needs to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes."</p><p>If you've been diagnosed with COVID-19 and want to enroll in the study, visit <a href="https://www.cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study" target="_blank">cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study</a>.</p>
Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.