Digital media practices among infants and toddlers based on Filipino mothers’ self-reports
The dramatic increase in the touchscreen exposure of very young children has raised issues regarding the potentials and perils that digital media practices bring to children’s development. This research aimed to examine the touchscreen practices among infants and toddlers based on mothers’ self-reports, focusing on amount of screen time and its predictors, type of media content consumed, and maternal motivations and involvement in the regulation of touchscreen use. Questionnaires were administered to 124 mothers, whose children ages six to 42 months used tablets and smartphones. Results revealed an early onset of children’s touchscreen use. The children’s overall screen time averaged nearly two hours daily, and they frequently used the touchscreen device to watch video shows. Evaluations of the type of content of shows viewed suggested that the mothers seemed to deliberately choose shows that were more educational than non-educational. The child’s age, the parent’s active and diversionary mediation strategies, and the perceived maternal benefits of children’s touchscreen were found to predict screen time. The implications of the results for parenting in the digital age were discussed.