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Technology - Latest Research

Research on the impact of technology on children and development is relatively new.  Much more research has become available in the last few years than the same time period preceeding it.  Here you will find relative research findings, and reports about that research, as we learn about them.  For example, some researchers and experts in this field are reporting that:

Teens: This is How Socia Media Affects Your Brain

Why the teen brain is drawn to risk by Mala Szalavitz

The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens (2016)
For example, 59% of teens are addicted to their technology according to a survey of parents. (Reported in the The Sun, May, 2016)

The American Adademy of Pediatrics has published recommendations for children's media use.  For example, they include:

  • For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they're seeing.
  • For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
  • For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health. 
  • Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
  • Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.


1. Regarding the Development of Empathy:
Research has demonstrated that children do not gain skills in empathy through online communication. Empathy comes from face-to-face interaction.  Source: Many studies including those by MIT Professor Dr. Sherry Turkle and Harvard Professor Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair  “Research confirms… the time we spend online or on electronic devices is eroding the time we spend with people around us”  ~ Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, Author of The Big Disconnect

2. Regarding Socialization and Communication Skills:
More children are using technology to avoid having difficult face-to-face conversations. More children are losing important socialization opportunities; impacting socio-emotional intelligence.  These are occurring as children are both spending more time socializing through technology and at earlier ages.

3. Regarding Social Media and Young Teens:
The more teens engaged with social media and the more they were emotionally invested in site participation, the greater the risk for impaired sleep, poor self-esteem, depression and/or anxiety. Source: CNN study of 200 thirteen year olds from 8 schools.  Visit:

4. Regarding Game-Addicted Boys:
The brains of video-game addicted boys are wired differently than boys not addicted.  They demonstrate greater distractibility and poor impulse control.   (But faster reaction time!) Source: Glow Kids by Dr. Kardaras – based on the research of Dr. Doug Hyun Han, professor of Chung-Ang University School of Medicine

5. Regarding the Impact of Distraction on Learning and Development:
“If students don’t learn how to concentrate and shut out distractions, research shows they’ll have a much harder time succeeding in almost every area.” “Teachers say students are unable to comprehend the same textbooks that generations of students that came before them could master without problems”  --Digital devices such as smartphones are fast becoming the single, greatest distraction for teens and young adults.  Quotes from the “Age of Distraction: Why It’s Crucial for Students to Learn to Focus” by Katrina Schwartz

Additional Pages:
Specific Recommendations:
Technology Contracts for Kids:

Specific Issues and Concerns About:

            Social Media:
            Video Games:

What You Might Say To Your Child:

Additional Related Resources: