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Pediatrics. 2019 Apr;143(4). pii: e20182012. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-2012.

Differences in Parent-Toddler Interactions With Electronic Versus Print Books.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Medical School, chungti@med.umich.edu.
2
Departments of Health Behavior and Health Education.
3
Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
4
Nutritional Sciences, and.
5
Biostatistics, School of Public Health, and.
6
Department of Pediatrics, Medical School.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Previous research has documented less dialogic interaction between parents and preschoolers during electronic-book reading versus print. Parent-toddler interactions around commercially available tablet-based books have not been described. We examined parent-toddler verbal and nonverbal interactions when reading electronic versus print books.

METHODS:

We conducted a videotaped, laboratory-based, counterbalanced study of 37 parent-toddler dyads reading on 3 book formats (enhanced electronic [sound effects and/or animation], basic electronic, and print). We coded verbalizations in 10-second intervals for parents (dialogic, nondialogic, text reading, format related, negative format-related directives, and off task) and children (book related, negative, and off task). Shared positive affect and collaborative book reading were coded on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 = high). Proc Genmod and Proc Mixed analyzed within-subjects variance by book format.

RESULTS:

Parents showed significantly more dialogic (print 11.9; enhanced 6.2 [P < .001]; basic 8.3 [P < .001]), text-reading (print 14.3; enhanced 10.6 [P = .003]; basic 14.4 [P < .001]), off-task (print 2.3; enhanced 1.3 [P = .007]), and total (29.5; enhanced 28.1 [P = .003]; basic 29.3 [P = .005]) verbalizations with print books and fewer format-related verbalizations (print 1.9; enhanced 10.0 [P < .001]; basic 8.3 [P < .001]). Toddlers showed more book-related verbalizations (print 15.0; enhanced 11.5 [P < .001]; basic 12.5 [P = .005]), total verbalizations (print 18.8; enhanced 13.8 [P < .001]; basic 15.3 [P < .001]), and higher collaboration scores (print 3.1; enhanced 2.7 [P = .004]; basic 2.8 [P = .02]) with print-book reading.

CONCLUSIONS:

Parents and toddlers verbalized less with electronic books, and collaboration was lower. Future studies should examine specific aspects of tablet-book design that support parent-child interaction. Pediatricians may wish to continue promoting shared reading of print books, particularly for toddlers and younger children.

PMID:
30910918
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2018-2012

Conflict of interest statement

POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Dr Radesky is paid to write articles for PBS Parents and is on the board of directors and consults for Melissa and Doug; the other authors have indicated they have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

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