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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • The NewFAMS Study Team

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Cambridge
  • New York University


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