Associations Between Media Viewing and Language Development in Children Under Age Two Years of Age

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Development in Children Under Age 2 Years (Zimmerman et al., 2007) Nearly every theory of language development recognizes that there is a critical period for learning language. During this critical period a child must receive environmental input for normal development. Parents and caregivers are an extremely important piece of this environmental input and the best way for caregivers to teach their children language is to simply talk to them—a lot. We know that children often say their first word between the ages of 11 and 14 months, and there continues to be a lot of variability in language development; is this a result of nature or nurture? Zimmerman, Christakis, and Meltzoff (2007) studied the effects of media viewing on language …show more content…
Listening to music with children was found to have no significant effect on CDI scores. In the 8- to 16-month old group, each hour of watching baby DVDs/videos per day was associated with a significantly lower CDI score than is normal for the age. No other significant associations of media exposure with CDI scores were found for either age group (Zimmerman et al., 2007).
Zimmerman discusses three possible reasons for the significant decrease in CDI scores for every hour that 8- to 16-month olds watch baby DVDs/ videos. The first is that since a lot of baby DVDs/videos advertise that that they will promote cognitive, language, and brain development, parents whose children already struggle in these areas may have their children watch baby DVDs as a means of help. A second reason may be the involvement of an unknown third variable that is related to both CDI scores and the amount of time spent watching baby DVS/videos. This variable, for example, may be caregivers who are less motivated to actively participate in their children’s language development and therefore rely on television to provide the input. It may also reflect a flaw in the accuracy of CDI scores because less involved parents are less likely to know how many words their children know. A third theory is that viewing of baby DVDs/videos may have a deleterious effect on early language development if it becomes too excessive (Zimmerman et al., 2007). Most theories of language
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