Always Connected, The Joan Ganz Cooney Center’s latest study on the media usage patterns of young children, has found evidence that media consumption changes considerably around age eight, as children at that age are developmentally able to engage in activities for longer periods of time, have more advanced motor skills and are developing more complex social relationships.
Consolidating data from several studies conducted by Sesame Workshop, the Cooney Center, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Nielsen, among others, Always Connected also found that children under eight aren’t exactly shunning media usage, either. Roughly 25 % percent of parents of children under five say that their children use the internet, and 82% of those young children do so on a weekly basis. Meanwhile, nearly half of all six-year-olds play video games.
In addition, media multitasking is becoming more predominant, with about 36% of children ages two to 11 using television and the internet simultaneously. In fact, television is still the most frequently used medium, with kids five and up watching at least three hours of television a day. However, mobile devices are becoming increasingly more popular with children, as four of the top five electronic devices owned by children are mobile platforms. The research also shows that with the growing prevalence of mobile devices comes a widening gap in access to technologies especially among low income and ethnic minority children.
Always Connected was written by Aviva Lucas Gutnick, Michael Robb, Lori Takeuchi and Jennifer Kotler and is available for download at http://joanganzcooneycenter.org/Reports-28.html.