"This study will be the first to use a longitudinal design and include diverse families to explore how young children engage with digital media," says investigator Stephanie Reich, UCI associate professor of education. Courtesy of Stephanie Reich

Stephanie Reich, UCI associate professor of education, has received a two-year, $150,000 grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to research how digital media influences child development. Data from her earlier NICHD-funded Baby Books 2 project will be used to describe the media habits of ethnically and linguistically diverse children at 9, 18, 24 and 30 months old. This data will be analyzed to identify which infant and parental characteristics predict media use over time; how exposure and use are associated with parent-child relationship quality; and children’s language development, social-emotional skills and executive functioning at 24 and 30 months old. “The impacts of television on parent-child interaction and young children’s development are well-documented, but little is known about how newer screen media influence these processes,” Reich said. Study findings will lead to concrete recommendations for promoting healthy media use among infants and toddlers.