Tired of running after your child to finish his or her homework? Blame kids’ increased addiction to digital media devices such as TV, video games or smartphone or tablets, a study has found. The findings showed that those children who spent four to six hours a day on digital media outside of schoolwork had 49 per cent lower odds of always or usually finishing their homework than those with less than two hours per day.
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Those with six or more hours of media use had 63 per cent lower odds of always or usually finishing their homework compared to children who spent less than two hours per day using media.
Children who spent two to four hours a day using digital devices had 23 per cent lower odds of always or usually finishing their homework, compared to children who spent less than two hours consuming digital media.
“It is important for parents and caregivers to understand that when their children are exposed to multiple different forms of digital media each day, the combined total digital media exposure is associated with decreases in a variety of childhood well-being measures including homework completion, task completion, interest in learning new things, and staying calm when challenged,” said Stephanie Ruest from Brown University in Rhode Island, US.
For the study, pediatricians analysed children’s use of digital media to better understand how it relates to childhood “flourishing”, or overall positive well-being — measured by behaviours and characteristics including diligence, initiative, task completion, and interpersonal relationships.
They examined the media use and homework habits of more than 64,000 children aged six to 17 years.
In addition, a similar relationship was found between digital media exposure and four other measures of childhood flourishing, including always or usually caring about doing well in school, completing tasks that are started, showing interest in learning new things, and staying calm when faced with challenges, the researchers noted.
“Parents should consider these combined effects when setting limits on digital media devices,” Ruest suggested.
The study was presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) 2016 National Conference & Exhibition in San Francisco, recently.
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