Nevin Manimala Statistics

Swipe, tap, read? Unveiling the effects of Touchscreen devices on Emergent Literacy Development in preschoolers

BMC Pediatr. 2023 Dec 9;23(1):625. doi: 10.1186/s12887-023-04450-y.


Emergent literacy skills are vital for children’s reading and writing development. While touchscreen devices have been linked to enhanced emergent literacy in developed countries, their impact in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), with limited access to quality apps, is underexplored. Thailand, classified as an upper-middle-income country, presents a unique context with its specific challenges in educational technology, which have not been extensively studied. This study examined the relationship between touchscreen device usage and emergent literacy development in Thai preschool children. Using a cross-sectional design, we analyzed data from 317 Thai children aged 5-6 years, assessing their emergent literacy skills and examining the association with touchscreen device usage through logistic regression analysis. Our findings showed that 79.5% of participants engaged with touchscreen devices, and there was an observed trend suggesting that exclusive tablet users might exhibit enhanced phonological awareness, letter naming, and rapid automatized naming skills. However, these potential improvements did not reach statistical significance when primary caregiver characteristics were taken into account. Our findings highlight the complexity of this relationship and underscore the need for further research to elucidate the potential influences of application quality and screen time engagement on emergent literacy, particularly in LMICs.

PMID:38071329 | DOI:10.1186/s12887-023-04450-y

By Nevin Manimala

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