Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Child Development


Child Development

First Reader/Committee Chair

Wong, Eugene


As young children are growing up in a digitally enmeshed world, there is growing concern about the developmental impacts of screen time. Given the importance of early rapid brain development, understanding the developmental outcomes of screen time in early childhood is critical. Current research suggests that excessive screen time may lead to delays in physical, cognitive, and language development. However, the impact of screen time on socio-emotional development among young children (0-5 years) is not well understood. Therefore, the present study examined the effects of screen time on social-emotional outcomes of 12-to-36-month-old children, specifically, the impact on self-regulation and behavior challenges per parent report. Additionally, the study examined the moderating effects of parenting style and socio-economic status on screen time and each of the outcome variables. Results demonstrated that screen time was significantly associated with self-regulation and behavior challenges. Also, screen time was related to socio-economic status. However, no moderating effects of parenting style and socio-economic status were found. The findings contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of screen time by specifically examining social-emotional development and by focusing on an age group that has generally not been considered. Future research is necessary to better understand developmentally appropriate screen time practices for young children to ensure optimal development of future generations.

Included in

Psychology Commons