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The Effect of background media on early childhood language development

Karakaya, Seçil
The current study aimed to investigate the background media effect on toddlers’ language development and also the moderator role of child temperamental characteristics namely inhibitory control, attention shifting, attention focusing and perceptual sensitivity. In total, 100 mothers of children between the ages of 16-26 months (Mage = 20.18 months) participated. Two home visits were made. In the first visit, mothers filled out the Early Childhood Behavior Questionnaire (ECBQ) to assess the child temperament, and asked to fill out the Media Diary during a week for background media exposure information. In the second visit, the Home Environment Questionnaire including Parental Media Attitudes questions to learn developmental stimulation in the home besides parental attitudes toward child media use, and the TİGE-II measuring child language development were administered. Total background media exposure was expected to be negatively associated with both language outcomes measured by the percentile of words produced and percentile of length of utterance. Further, these relationships were expected to be more powerful for children with high perceptual sensitivity and with low inhibitory control, attention focusing and attention shifting temperaments. Results indicated non-significant main effect of the amount of background media exposure in both the percentile of words produced and the length of utterances. However, moderation analysis showed that when the amount of background media exposure interacted with perceptual sensitivity, more exposure predicted lower percentile of the length of utterance for children with high perceptual sensitivity. The findings, contributions, limitations, and suggestions were discussed.