Links for 2017-06-15

  • Screen time guidelines need to be built on evidence, not hype | Science | The Guardian

    An open letter signed by about 100 scientists ‘from different countries and academic fields with research expertise and experience in screen time, child development and evidence-based policy.’

    If the government were to implement guidelines on screen-based technology at this point, as the authors of the letter suggest, this would be on the basis of little to no evidence. This risks the implementation of unnecessary, ineffective or even potentially harmful policies. For guidelines to have a meaningful impact, they need to be grounded in robust research evidence and acknowledge that children’s health and wellbeing is a complex issue affected by many other factors, such as socioeconomic status, relational poverty, and family environment – all of which are likely to be more relevant for children’s health and well-being than screens. For example, there is no consistent evidence that more screen time leads to less outdoor play; if anything the evidence indicates that screen time and physical outdoor activity are unrelated, and reductions in average time spent in outdoor play over time seem to be driven by other factors. Policy efforts to increase outdoor play that focus on screen time are therefore likely to be ineffective.
    (via Damien Mulley)

    (tags: via:damienmulley science children psychology screens screen-time childhood development evidence policy health open-letters)

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