Children use of electronics delays mental development

A recently conducted Japanese study has warned against the long-term exposure of children to electronic screens. The study has revealed that such experiences result in delayed development of mental functions during the later stages of childhood.

It was conducted by a team of researchers from Hamamatsu and Tohoku Universities and involved the measurement of mental development among almost 7000 children between the ages of two and four.

mental development


The study focused on five critical areas related to personal and social skills, problem-solving, fine movements, motor skills, and communication.

Results showed that close to 48.5% of the children were exposed to electronic screen devices for less than an hour per day, while 29.5% were exposed to under two hours per day. 17.9% of the children were exposed to screens for durations ranging from two to four hours, with only 4.1% being exposed for four hours or more in a day.

The study established a direct link between the observed mental development of the children and the amount of time they spent glued to screens of electronic devices in their early childhood.

mental development


For instance, children who had their first screen interaction at the age of one had delayed mental development in most areas, except for motor skills, by the time they were two years old.

The delay extended to personal and social skills, as well as problem-solving, by the time the children reached four years of age.

Parents and guardians should carefully manage the amount of time young children spend interacting with electronic devices and screens. Limiting screen time to under an hour per day is advisable and can help support a child’s healthy development, both physically and mentally.

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