Digital devices have become more widespread in recent years and children’s interest in them has significantly changed their own learning habits. Individual interaction with digital devices in infancy and early childhood posits both benefits and risks in gaining informal learning experiences. The lack of relevant studies on the issue brings forward the aim of the research, which is to explore digital devices use for learning in infancy and early childhood as parents report it. 93 parents of 113 children aged 0–8 years old participated in an online survey to find out peculiarities of the children using digital devices for learning, frequency of using them, and parents’ mediation in this process. For each aspect, Cramér’s V and Somers’ D were employed to make statistical differences between three age groups: 0–3, 4–5, 6–8 years old. The findings showed that the number of children using digital devices for learning increased with their age. Devices with the touch screen were especially popular for viewing videos, self-development, and gaming. The parents restricted content and learning time of their children using digital devices, which still required careful regulation and control. It is recommended that parents select learning applications and games appropriate for their children’s age since digital devices impact on the children’s health and development.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Similar content being viewed by others
Bakhtova, Y. V. (2018). Detstvo v tsifrovom mire [The childhood in the digital world]. Institut psikhologii Rossiyskoy Akademii Nauk. Chelovek i mir. [Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Person and the World], 3(5), 167–178 (in Russian).
Blackwell, C. K., Lauricella, A. R., & Wartella, E. (2014). Factors influencing digital technology use in early childhood education. Computers & Education, 77, 82–90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2014.04.013.
Bozzola, E., Spina, G., Ruggiero, M., Memo, L., Agostiniani, R., Bozzola, M., et al. (2018). Media devices in pre-school children: The recommendations of the Italian pediatric society. Italian Journal of Pediatrics, 44(1), 1–5. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13052-018-0508-7.
Caprì, T., Gugliandolo, M. C., Iannizzotto, G., Nucita, A., & Fabio, R. A. (2019). The influence of media usage on family functioning. Current Psychology, 1(23), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-019-00204-1.
Chassiakos, Y. R., Radesky, J., Christakis, D., Moreno, M. A., Cross, C., & Council on Communications and Media. (2016). Children and adolescents and digital media. Pediatrics, 138(5), e1–e18. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2016-2593.
Chaudron, S. (2015). Young children (0-8) and digital technology: A qualitative exploratory study across seven countries. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. https://doi.org/10.2788/00749.
Cristia, A., & Seidl, A. (2015). Parental reports on touch screen use in early childhood. Plos One, 10(6), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0128338.
Dinleyici, M., Carman, K. B., Ozturk, E., & Sahin-Dagli, F. (2016). Media use by children, and parents’ views on children’s media usage. Interactive Journal of Medical Research, 5(2), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.2196/ijmr.5668.
Gorbunova, A. Yu. (2018). Rol’ tsifrovykh tekhnologiy v kognitivnom razvitii doshkol’nika: Postanovka problemy [The role of digital technologies in the cognitive development of preschool children: Problem statement]. Science in a Megapolis, 2(6). Retrieved from https://mgpu-media.ru/issues/issue-6/psycho-pedagogical-science/role-digital-technologies.html?showall=1&limitstart= (in Russian). Accessed 8 Sep 2019.
Hinkley, T., Verbestel, V., Ahrens, W., Lissner, L., Molnár, D., Moreno, L. A., et al. (2014). Early childhood electronic media use as a predictor of poorer well-being: A prospective cohort study. JAMA Pediatrics, 168(5), 485–492. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.94.
Hoffmann, B. (2014). Computer as a threat or an opportunity for development of children. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 146, 15–21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.08.080.
Hsin, C.-T., Li, M.-C., & Tsai, C.-C. (2014). The influence of young children’s use of technology on their learning: A review. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 17(4), 85–99 Retrieved from https://drive.google.com/file/d/16fxCucQouQsuknqv02bJyDHLGatvIWfS/view. Accessed 8 Sep 2019.
Hwang, Y., Choi, I., Yum, J.-Y., & Jeong, S.-H. (2017). Parental mediation regarding children’s smartphone use: Role of protection motivation and parenting style. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 20(6), 362–368. https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2016.0555.
Kabali, H. K., Irigoyen, M. M., Nunez-Davis, R., Budacki, J. G., Mohanty, S. H., Leister, K. P., & Bonner, R. L. (2015). Exposure and use of mobile media devices by young children. Pediatrics, 136(6), 1044–1050. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2015-2151.
Kılıç, A. O., Sari, E., Yucel, H., Oğuz, M. M., Polat, E., Acoglu, E. A., & Senel, S. (2019). Exposure to and use of mobile devices in children aged 1–60 months. European Journal of Pediatrics, 178(2), 221–227. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-018-3284-x.
Krukhmaleva, O. V., & Krukhmalev, E. V. (2017). Sovremennyye igrovyye ustroystva v zhizni detey i podrostkov: Sotsiokul’turnyy analiz [Modern gaming devices in the lives of children and adolescents: A sociocultural analysis]. Kul’tura i Obrazovaniye: Nauchno-Informatsionnyy Zhurnal Vuzov Kul’tury i Iskusstv [Culture and Education: Scientific and Information Journal of High Schools of Culture and the Arts], 2(25), 47–60 (in Russian).
Lee, L. (2015). Digital media and young children‘s learning: A case study of using iPads in American preschools. International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 5(12), 947–950. https://doi.org/10.7763/IJIET.2015.V5.643.
Lutskaya, E. E., & Khalitova, I. V. (2018). Vliyaniye tsifrovykh tekhnologiy na sotsializatsiyu [Influence of digital technologies on socialization]. In M. M. Musarsky & E. A. Omelchenko (Eds.), Sovremennoye obrazovaniye: Vektory razvitiya. Tsifrovizatsiya ekonomiki i obshchestva: Prizyvayet k sisteme obrazovaniya [Modern education: Development vectors. Digitalization of economy and society: Calls for an education system] (pp. 444–453). MPSU: Moscow (in Russian).
Lyons, C. D., & Tredwell, C. T. (2015). Steps to implementing technology in inclusive early childhood programs. Computers in the Schools, 32(2), 152–166. https://doi.org/10.1080/07380569.2015.1038976.
Mikelić Preradović, N., Lešin, G., & Šagud, M. (2016). Investigating parents’ attitudes towards digital technology use in early childhood: A case study from Croatia. Informatics in Education, 15(1), 127–146. https://doi.org/10.15388/infedu.2016.07.
Miller, J. L., Paciga, K. A., Danby, S., Beaudoin-Ryan, L., & Kaldor, T. (2017). Looking beyond swiping and tapping: Review of design and methodologies for researching young children’s use of digital technologies. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 11(3), 6. https://doi.org/10.5817/CP2017-3-6.
Moon, J., Cho, S. Y., Lim, S. M., Roh, J. H., Koh, M. S., Kim, Y. J., & Nam, E. (2019). Smart device usage in early childhood is differentially associated with fine motor and language development. Acta Paediatrica, 108(5), 903–910. https://doi.org/10.1111/apa.14623.
Nathanson, A. I., Aladé, F., Sharp, M. L., Rasmussen, E. E., & Christy, K. (2014). The relation between television exposure and executive function among preschoolers. Developmental Psychology, 50(5), 1497–1506. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035714.
Polivanova, K. N. (2016). Childhood in a changing world. Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 5(2), 5–10. https://doi.org/10.17759/jmfp.2016050201.
Radesky, J. S., Peacock-Chambers, E., Zuckerman, B., & Silverstein, M. (2016). Use of mobile technology to calm upset children: Associations with social-emotional development. JAMA Pediatrics, 170(4), 397–399. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.4260.
Shakirova, G. F. (2017). Vzaimosvyaz’ psikhologicheskogo klimata, sotsial’nogo statusa sem’i i mezhlichnostnykh otnosheniy doshkol’nikov, ispol’zuyushchikh tsifrovyye tekhnologii [Interrelation of psychological climate, social status of the family and the interpersonal relations of the preschool children using digital technologies]. Philology and Culture, 4(50), 249–252. Retrieved from http://philology-and-culture.kpfu.ru/?q=system/files/40_16.pdf (in Russian). Accessed 8 Sep 2019.
Shakirova, G. F. (2018). Ispol’zovaniye tsifrovykh tekhnologiy: Polorolevyye razlichiya [The use of mobile technology to calm upset children associations with social-emotional development]. International Research Journal, 1(67), 119–121. https://doi.org/10.23670/IRJ.2018.67.072 (in Russian).
Sivrikova, N. V., Harlanova, E. M., Stolbova, E. A., Ageev, A. A. (2019). Interacting with participants of youth organizations through social networks: Commitment and digital readiness of educators. Dilemas Contemporaneos-Educacion Politica y Valores 6 (Special Issue), 1–19.
Soldatova, G. (2018). Digital socialization in the cultural-historical paradigm: A changing child in a changing world. Social Psychology and Society, 9(3), 71–80. https://doi.org/10.17759/sps.2018090308 (in Russian).
Soldatova, G., & Shlyapnikov, V. (2015). Ispol’zovaniye tsifrovykh ustroystv det’mi doshkol’nogo vozrasta [the use of digital devices by children of preschool age]. Nizhegorodskoye obrazovaniye [Nizhny Novgorod Education], 3, 78–85 (in Russian).
Ukwueze, F., & Ajala, E. (2014). The role of information and communication technology in early childhood education. Computer Education Research Journal, 1(1), 127–133.
Zabatiero, J., Straker, L., Mantilla, A., Edwards, S., & Danby, S. (2018). Young children and digital technology: Australian early childhood education and care sector adults’ perspectives. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 43(2), 14–22. https://doi.org/10.23965/AJEC.43.2.02.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Sivrikova, N.V., Ptashko, T.G., Perebeynos, A.E. et al. Parental reports on digital devices use in infancy and early childhood. Educ Inf Technol 25, 3957–3973 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-020-10145-z