Elevated daily screen time related to cognitive and behavioral problems in extremely premature children


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Among children aged 6 to 7 who were born extremely premature — before the 28th week of pregnancy — those who had more than two hours of screen time a day were more likely to have deficits in overall IQ, functioning executive (problem-solving skills), impulse control, and care, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Similarly, those who had a TV or computer in the rooms were more likely to have problems with impulse control and attention span. The findings suggest that a large amount of screen time can exacerbate cognitive deficits and behavioral problems common in extremely premature babies.

The study was conducted by Betty R. Vohr, MD, and colleagues. Appears in JAMA Pediatrics. Funding was provided by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; and the National Center for the Advancement of Translation Sciences.

Previous studies have linked large amounts of screen time among children born long-term with language and developmental, behavioral, and other problems. In the current study, researchers analyzed data from a study of children born at 28 weeks or earlier. Of the 414 children, 238 had more than two hours of screen time per day, and 266 had television or computer in the rooms. Compared to children with less screen time per day, those with a high amount of screen time achieved an average deficit of almost 8 points in the overall percentiles of the executive function, approximately 0.8 points less. (inhibition) and more than 3 more points for inattention. Children with television or computer in the rooms also scored lower on measures of inhibition, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

The authors concluded that the findings support the need for physicians to discuss the potential effects of capture time with families of extremely premature children.

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More information:
Vohr, BE, et al. Association of high screen time use with school-age cognitive, executive, and behavioral outcomes in extremely premature children. JAMA Pediatrics.2021. DOI: 10.1001 / jamapediatrics.2021.2041

Citation: High daily screen time related to cognitive and behavioral problems in extremely premature children (2021, July 15) retrieved July 15, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-high-daily -screen-linked-cognitive .html

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