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Content and Context in Children’s Screen Time and Relations to Academic Skills

Coulanges, Linsah (2022) Content and Context in Children’s Screen Time and Relations to Academic Skills. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Children’s screen time has increased dramatically in the past few years and the content and contextual factors related to screen use merits further investigation in determining impacts on academic skills. In this longitudinal study of 128 4 and 5-year-old children, using time diary data to measure children’s screen time and direct child assessments of academic skills, this study examined whether contextual factors related to screen time (total screen time, content, parental monitoring, and device type) predicted children’s academic skills. Results showed that only use of mobile devices predicted spatial skills at age 5 when considering these contextual factors individually. Via cluster analysis, three unique groups of screen users were uncovered: Cluster 1 was “low total, unmonitored, and non-educational TV,” Cluster 2 was called “moderate total, educational mobile devices,” and Cluster 3 was “highest total, educational TV and mobile devices.” Cluster 2 showed better literacy skills at age 5 than both Cluster 1 and Cluster 3. Findings suggest that certain contextual features of screen time may predict children’s literacy skills and the need to move beyond simple global measures of children’s total screen time to assess academic outcomes. Future directions of this research and limitations are discussed.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Coulanges, Linsahlic127@pitt.edulic1270000-0002-2898-860X
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBachman,
Committee MemberVotruba-Drzal,
Committee MemberLibertus,
Date: 6 June 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 16 February 2022
Approval Date: 6 June 2022
Submission Date: 9 March 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 54
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Screen time, academic skills
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2022 15:55
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2022 15:55


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