UBC Graduate Research

Investigating relationships between screen time and young children's social emotional development Hendry, Robin S.


In this project, I investigate the extant literature examining relationships between young children’s (birth to 6 years old) screen time use and their social emotional development. The social and emotional learning experiences that children have help them to build the foundation for developing various social and emotional skills. Children’s play is considered a significant component in supporting and promoting their social emotional development and, with the infiltration of screen-based technology in our society, children are deprived from opportunities for play. In exploring this topic I examined the benefits of play, the effects of play deprivation, and the possible drawbacks as well as the possible benefits of children’s screen time use on their social and emotional development. To connect the literature reviewed to practice in early childhood education, I have prepared a presentation for parents to support them in promoting their children’s social and emotional development while recognizing the role that screen-based devices has in their lives. Through my exploration of the literature on this topic I learned that while there may be some social emotional benefits from screen time, screen time is not a replacement for the extraordinary benefits that children gain from social play. Recommendations for future study include learning more about the long-term effects of children’s screen time use on their social and emotional development. Recommendations for future practice include the need for parents and educators to be active participants in their children’s screen time use, in addition to being role models in their own screen time habits.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International