(WKBN) – A newly published study from the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics shows the cognitive impact of screen time on kids.

According to the study published June 6, 2022, excessive screen time was found to be associated with worse cognitive and social-emotional development outcomes.

The findings suggest that both the duration and when a child starts using screens matter in terms of cognitive and social development.

The study looked at 152 children aged 6 to 72 months and classified screen time into three groups: continued low, late increasing and early increasing. The late increasing and early increasing trajectories versus continued low trajectory were found to be associated with worse outcomes. In essence, continued low exposure had the best outcomes, but a lot of screen time early on and even a lot of screen time later resulted in lower scores on intelligence tests.

The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children was used to measure cognitive development in the study. Social-emotional development was measured by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, which was completed by the child’s mother. The study described demographic characteristics, maternal mental health, child’s temperament at age 6 months, and mental development at age 12 months.

This study found that excessive screen time in early years was associated with poor cognitive and social-emotional development. The finding may be helpful in encouraging awareness among parents about their child’s use of screens and how long they are using them.