A new study was just released yesterday in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine sheds more light on the research showing a relationship between young children’s exposure to TV and their language development.
A leading researcher in the field, Dimitri Christakis, studied 329 children aged 2 months to 4 years old. Using a very creative study method, he and his collegues had the children wear small digital recorders for periods of 12-16 hours. These recorders captured sounds and vocalizations the child was exposed to as well as their own vocalizations. The results showed that
** on average, for every hour the TV was on, parents spoke 770 fewer words to their children.
This is shocking given that the average adult speaks 940 words per hour. Thus, the presence of TV was associated with a significant decline in parent vocalizations. The study also found that children’s vocalizations were much less frequent in the presence of TV as well.
“Since 30 percent of American households now report having the television always on, even when no one is watching, these findings have grave implications for language acquisition and therefore perhaps even early brain development.”
– Check out this article for some good tips on how to incorporate media responsibly into your child’s life.
Amy-this is an interesting article.
The Mother says
Yeah, I read that study. It was sort of a "Duh." For me, anyway.
The TV is a great babysitting tool when the kids need to be settled while mom makes dinner, or when she just can't stand them anymore (and yes, we ALL reach that point).
But it was never meant to replace the interactions between parents and children.
So, I don't think the study results are much of a surprise.
But then again, maybe some people need to be hit over the head? Blinded with statistics, instead of using common sense?
Hello to you, Visiting from the MBC.
Great blog, Have a wonderful weekend.
Momma Snail says
Can't wait to "meet" the new baby!!!!
Don't you just love when you hear parents "brag" about how their baby *loves* "educational" shows? And how they make them "so smart."
We leave the TV off most of the time. During the time the grandparents were here it was on much more and we noticed our little guy was making less sounds.