About this Research Topic
Digital media availability has surged over the past decade. This rapid growth in access to digital media also affects families with children. However, research examining the family social and cultural context, as well as socio-cognitive outcomes of early media use is scarce. This may largely be due to lack of comprehensive measurement tools; Modern media are mobile, interactive, and often short in duration, making them difficult to remember when parents, teachers, relatives or older children respond to questions about media use.
What we know about the early exposure to digital media is based on studies within psychological science. For example, that infants and young children have difficulty transferring what they have learnt from a two-dimensional screen to a real-world three-dimensional setting, the so-called transfer deficit. In addition, exposure to digital media is associated with alterations in sleep quality, language development, nearsightedness and the mental well-being of both parents and children. These findings are however purely correlational and the mechanisms by which media and other outcomes are linked are poorly understood. However, having stated this, it is by no way our intention to paint only a gloomy picture of digital media. If the content and context is right, digital media might provide a rich window to learning in new and exciting ways; to explore the world and develop new friendships. Books, for instance, take new exciting formats as a result of technology, and new storytelling techniques may open new opportunities to enjoy and comprehend stories.
Media develops rapidly and to keep up with these technological advances, there is a need to increase research and collaborations across labs and cultures. Therefore, this Research Topic aims to bring together recent findings from many labs, studies, and countries. We hope that this collection of articles will serve as a window to our current state of knowledge and in doing so, inspire new researchers to enter the field but also to create a platform that motivates new collaborations among those already active in the field. Thus, we would like to invite researchers from different cultures and countries across the globe to submit their work to this Research Topic. Relevant work might include, but is not limited to, studies focusing on the impact of digital media on social development, cognitive skills, reading, friendship, and attention. We encourage manuscript submissions that put their results into the broader context of family, society or culture. As the field of media use cuts across disciplines, we welcome interdisciplinary studies from Psychology, Education, and Pediatrics.
Keywords: early childhood, joint media engagement, learning, digital media, technoference, transfer deficit
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.