Connection Between Screen Time and Child Development

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In her news report for CNN Health, Jacqueline Howard (2019) addresses the significance of screen time’s limitation for toddlers as it substantially affects their general development in the future. In general, children’s development includes motor skills, growth in communication, personal-social skills, decision-making, and problem-solving (Howard, 2019). It may be measured on the basis of a specific screening tool that is called the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (Howard, 2019). According to recent research, toddlers who spend a considerable amount of time in front of screens demonstrate “poorer performance on developmental screening tests later in childhood” (Howard, 2019, para. 1).

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That is why the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends that parents limit screen time for preschool children ages 2 to 5 to one hour of high-quality programming per day (Howard, 2019). For toddlers younger than 24 months digital media should be restricted (Howard, 2019). At the same time, for older children, personalized media plans may be developed by parents, however, the inevitable needs time away from media, eight hours of sleep, and at least one hour of physical activity every day. However, despite the fact that the majority of experts emphasize a stable association between developmental delays and excessive screen time, in the United States, most children regardless of age spend 5-7 hours playing video games, working on a computer, or watching TV.

The CNN news report is partly based on the qualitative study of Madigan et al. (2019) published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. This longitudinal cohort study aims to identify the connection between high levels of screen time in children ages 24 and 36 months with “poor performance on a screening measure assessing children’s achievement of development milestones at 36 and 60 months, respectively” (Madigan et al., 2019, p. 244). It used a 3-wave, random-intercepts, cross-lagged panel model in 2441 mothers and children in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with data collection between 2011 and 2016 and statistical analyses in 2018 (Madigan et al., 2019). Covariates included the child’s gender, early education (reading books by a mother), amount of time for physical activity and sleep, and the mother’s income and level of education (Madigan et al., 2019). The results of the research support the already defined association between screen time and children’s developmental delays.

It goes without saying that both the news report and the scholarly article are highly informative. In addition, the news article includes and accurately describes the research to support its main theme. However, the scientific article may be regarded as more impartial as its main objective is the description of an experimental study and its results. Its authors do not provide personal opinions or address readers. The style of the scholarly article fully corresponds to the standards of scientific papers.

At the same time, despite the fact that the report’s author does not express any emotions as well, she aims to explain to parents the significance of the negative impact of excessive use of digital media on a child’s early development. That is why direct speech and more informal language are used to address viewers and readers. People may have a strong feeling that various experts are talking with them in a highly understandable manner. In addition, Howard (2019) includes multiple kinds of research in her report in order to make it more reliable and persuasive.


Howard, J. (2019). More screen time for toddlers is tied to poorer development a few years later, study says. CNN Health. Web.

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Madigan, S., Browne, D., Racine, N., Mori, C., & Tough, S. (2019). Association between screen time and children’s performance on a developmental screening test. JAMA Pediatrics, 173(3), 244-250. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022, May 18). Connection Between Screen Time and Child Development. Retrieved from


PsychologyWriting. (2022, May 18). Connection Between Screen Time and Child Development.

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"Connection Between Screen Time and Child Development." PsychologyWriting, 18 May 2022,


PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'Connection Between Screen Time and Child Development'. 18 May.


PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Connection Between Screen Time and Child Development." May 18, 2022.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Connection Between Screen Time and Child Development." May 18, 2022.


PsychologyWriting. "Connection Between Screen Time and Child Development." May 18, 2022.