Infant screen exposure links to toddlers’ inhibition, but not other EF constructs: a propensity score study

The NewFAMS Study Team

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Technology is pervasive in homes of families with young children, despite evidence for negative associations between infant exposure to screen-based media and cognitive development that has led the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to discourage parents from exposing children under the age of 18 months to any kind of screen time (AAP, 2016). Here, we apply a propensity score matching approach to estimate relations between electronic screen-based media use in infancy and executive function in early toddlerhood. In an international sample of 416 first-born infants, parental report of regular exposure to screen-based media at 4 months predicted poorer performance on a test of inhibition at 14 months, but was unrelated to either cognitive flexibility or working memory at 14 months. Results of this study are therefore consistent with the view that early exposure to screen-based media adversely affects the development of executive function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-222
Number of pages18
Issue number2
Early online date8 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the families for allowing us into their lives and their homes. The New Fathers and Mothers (NewFAMs) Study Team includes Clancy Blair, Claire Hughes, Judi Mesman, Rory Devine, Lenneke Alink, Wendy Browne, Marjolein Branger, Rosanneke Emmen, Sarah Foley, Lara Kyriakou, Anja Lindberg, Gabrielle McHarg, Andrew Ribner, and Mi-Lan Woudstra. Support for this research was provided by ESRC ES/L010648/1 to CH, NSF BCS-1429152 to CB, and NWO 464-13-141 to JM.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Infancy published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Congress of Infant Studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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