SOLUTION: WU Touch Screens Make Your Toddler More Distractible Article Analysis Discussion

Do Touchscreens Make Your Toddler More Distractible?
Jan. 28, 2021, at 8:31 a.m.
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U.S. News & World Report
BY ROBERT PREIDT, HealthDay Reporter
THURSDAY, Jan. 28, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Too much screen time can make your toddler
more distractible, British researchers warn.
The use of smartphones and tablets by babies and toddlers has
soared in recent years.
“The first few years of life are critical for children to learn how to control their attention and
ignore distraction, early skills that are known to be important for later academic
achievement,” said lead author Tim Smith, a professor at the Center for Brain and Cognitive
Development at Birkbeck, University of London.
“There has been growing concern that toddler touchscreen use may negatively impact their
developing attention, but previously there was no empirical evidence to support this,” Smith
added.
To learn more, Smith’s team studied toddlers with different levels of touchscreen usage,
assessing them at 12 months, 18 months and 3.5 years of age.
At each visit, the toddlers did computer tasks while an eye-tracker measured their attention.
Objects appeared in different locations of the computer screen, and researchers monitored how
quickly the children looked at the objects and how well they ignored distracting objects.
Toddlers with high daily touchscreen use were quicker to look when objects appeared
and were less able to resist distraction than those with little or no daily screen time, the
study found.
Main researcher Ana Maria Portugal, an associate research fellow at Birkbeck University of
London, said the team could not conclude, however, that touchscreen use caused the attention
differences.
“It could also be that children who are more distractible may be more attracted to the attentiongrabbing features of touchscreen devices than those who are not,” she said in a news release
from the University of Bath.
But co-investigator Rachael Bedford of the University of Bath said that the researchers’ next
step is clear.
“What we need to know next is how this pattern of increased looking to distracting objects on
screens relates to attention in the real-world: Is it a positive sign that the children have adapted
to the multitasking demands of their complex everyday environment or does it relate
to difficulties during tasks that require concentration?” she said in the news release.
Bedford is director of the Statistical Analysis of NeuroDevelopment and Psychopathology in
Infants and Toddlers lab, also known as SANDPIT.
THINKING ABOUT ISSUES. Logical thinking skills are needed to analyze an issue. You can
develop these skills by using the following structured questions:
Article Title:Do Touch Screens Make Your Toddler More Distractible?
1. What is the issue? State the issue concisely.
2. WHAT is the issue’s background? Use background information to
help put the issue in context and make it relate to one’s own personal experiences.
3. WHAT are the perspectives on the issue? Identify and explore different viewpoints, both
conventional ones and new ones,
4. WHAT is your stand or view? Take a firm stand, one that can be defended
5. WHY should your stand or point of view be supported? Consider ways your stand may be
questioned or challenged.
6. WHAT kinds of questions does this issue raise? Develop exploratory questions, (what, where,
why, when, how?), which will help you understand the core of the issue, and will reinforce the
issue’s importance.

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