Skip to main content

Effect of Television Exposure on Attention and Language in Preschool Children

Abstract

Aim

To evaluate the effects of television (TV) on language and attention in preschool children.

Introduction

There are contradictory reports of the effects of TV watching on children language, cognition, and attention. No research has been conducted to study these effects on Arabic-speaking children.

Patients and methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted on parents of preschool children with delayed language development aged 1.5–6 years recruited from the Phoniatric Unit in Sohag University Hospital. A total of 112 parents are asked if their children are watching TV, average duration of daily TV watching, type of programs, and if there is interaction during the day. All data are correlated with children language and attention.

Results

There is a strong negative correlation between receptive and expressive language age and inattention (r=–0.8) and the duration of TV watching (r=–0.6). This indicates that the poorer the inattention and the longer TV watching, the more unfavorable the results of receptive and expressive language age. There is a significant difference between certain types of song channels and inattention (P=0.03).

Conclusion

The quality of televised programs that promote language learning for preschool children should be encouraged in the Arabic-speaking society. Moreover, the duration of watching TV should be decreased to allow proper interaction of children with their parents and caregivers. Educating parents and increasing their awareness of the adverse effects of TV on their child’s development, cognition, language, and attention should be pursued and addressed.

References

  1. 1

    Anderson DR, Evans MK. The peril and potential of media for infants. Zero To Three 2001; 10:1–17.

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Anderson DR, Pempek TA. Television and very young children. Am Behav Sci 2005; 48:505–522.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Barr RF, Chavez V, Fujimoto M, Garcia A, Muentener P, Strait C. Television exposure during infancy: Patterns of viewing, attention, and interaction. Presented at the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Tampa, Florida 2003, April.

  4. 4

    Barr R, Hayne H. Developmental changes in imitation form television during infancy. Child Dev 1999; 70:1067–1081.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Grela B, Lin YJ, Krcmar M. Can television be used to teach vocabulary to Toddlers? Chicago: Poster Session Presented at The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention; 2003.

  6. 6

    Schmitt KL, Anderson DR. Television and reality: Toddler’s use of visual information from video to guide behavior. Media Psychol 2002; 4:51–76.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Zimmerman FJ, Christakis DA, Meltzoff AN. Associations between media viewing and language development in children under age 2 years. Pediatrics 2007; 151:364–368.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Linebarger DL, Walker D. Infants’ and Toddlers’ television viewing and language outcomes. Am Behav Sci 2005; 46:1–22.

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Kuhl PK, Tsao FM, Liu HM. Foreign-language experience in infancy: effects of short-term exposure and social interaction on phonetic learning. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2003; 100:9096–9101.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Kuhl PK. Early language acquisition: cracking the speech code. Nat Neurosci 2004; 5:831–843.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    McGoogan C. Who invented the televisionHow people reacted to John Logie Baird’s creation 90 years ago. The Telegraph. 2016. Available at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/google-doodle/12121474/Who-invented-the-television-John-Logie-Baird-created-the-TV-in-1926.html. Accessed May, 2018

  12. 12

    Gomes H, Molholm S, Christodolou C, Ritter W, Cowan N. The development of auditory attention in children. Front Biosci 2000; 5:108–120.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Ebert KD, Kohnert K. Sustained attention in children with primary language impairment: a meta-analysis. J Speech Lang Hear Res 2011; 54:1372–1384.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Hanoura MA. Stanford Binet Intelligence test: Arabic version. Cairo: Anglo Press; 2002.

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Gilliam JE. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity test. Austin, TX: PRO-ED; 1995.

    Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    El-Sady SR, El-Shoubary AM, Hafez GN, Mohammed AA. Translate, modified and standardized of preschool language scale [unpublished thesis]. 4th ed. Egypt: Ain Shams Medical School; 2011.

    Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    Lapierre MA, Piotrowski JT, Linebarger DL. Background television in the homes of US children. Pediatrics 2012; 130:1–8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    Rideout V, Hamel E. The media family: electronic media in the lives of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their parents. Menlo Park, CA: Kaiser Family Foundation; 2006.

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Carew J. Experience and the development of intelligence in young children at home and daycare. Monogr Soc Res Child Dev 1980; 47:6.

    Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    Wachs TD. Models of physical environmental action: implications for the study of play materials and parent-child interaction. In: Gottfried A, editor. Play interactions: the contribution of play materials and parent involvement to child development. New York, NY: Lexington; 1986.

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21

    Christakis DA, Garrison MM, Herrenkohl T, Haggerty K, Rivara FP, Zhou C, Liekweg K. Modifying media content for preschool childre: a randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics 2013; 131:431–438.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22

    American Academy of Pediatrics. Media use by children younger than 2 years. Pediatrics 2011; 128:1040–1045.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23

    Gadberry S. Television as baby-sitter: a field comparison of preschoolers’ behavior during playtime and during television viewing. Child Dev 1974; 45:1132–1136.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. 24

    Certain LK, Kahn RS. Prevalence, correlates, and trajectory of television viewing among infants and toddlers. Pediatrics 2002; 109:634–642.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25

    Dalzell VP, Msall ME, High PC. Parental attitudes of television and videocassette viewing of children aged birth to 36 months. J Dev Behav Pediatr 2000; 21:390–395.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26

    Christakis DA, Zimmerman FJ, DiGiuseppe DL, McCarty CA. Early television exposure and subsequent attentional problems in children. Pediatrics 2004; 113:708–713.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27

    Zimmerman FJ, Christakis DA. Children’s television viewing and cognitive outcomes: a longitudinal analysis of national data. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2005; 159:619–625.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28

    Schmidt ME, Pempek TA, Kirkorian HL. The effects of background television on the toy play behavior of very young children. Child Dev 2008; 79:1137–1151.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29

    Thompson DA, Christakis DA. The association between television viewing and irregular sleep schedules among children less than 3 years of age. Pediatrics 2005; 116:851–856.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. 30

    Cooper NR, Uller C, Pettifer J, Stolc FC. Conditioning attentional skills: examining the effects of the pace of television editing on children’s attention. Acta Paediatr 2009; 98:1651–1655.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  31. 31

    Gupta R, Ahmed R. Attention deficit hyperactivity, can we do better? Int Pediat 2003; 18:84–86.

    Google Scholar 

  32. 32

    Camarata S, Gibson T. Pragmatic 8 deficits in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev 1999; 5:207–214.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. 33

    El Sady SR, Nabieh AA, Mostafa E, Sadek AA. Language impairment in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in preschool. Child Egypt J Med Hum Genet 2013; 14:383–389.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. 34

    Hart B, Risley TR. Meaningful differences in the everyday experiences of young American children. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes; 1995.

    Google Scholar 

  35. 35

    Close R. Television and Language Development in the Early Years. 2004. Available at: http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/assets/0000/0429/TV_early_years_2004.pdf. Accessed May, 2018

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Eman Mostafa MD, PhD.

Additional information

This is an open access journal, and articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as appropriate credit is given and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

Rights and permissions

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Mostafa, E. Effect of Television Exposure on Attention and Language in Preschool Children. Egypt J Otolaryngol 35, 327–331 (2019). https://doi.org/10.4103/ejo.ejo_47_18

Download citation

Keywords

  • delayed language development
  • preschool children
  • television