Study finds paper books are better than e-books for child development

According to a laboratory-based study of 72 young children, researchers found that reading paper books, as opposed to e-books, might be better for child development.

Released online on December 1st, the study in Pediatrics examined parent-toddler interactions with electronic devices versus print novels.

“We coded parent verbalizations (eg, dialogic, nondialogic) and proportions of child responses to these in 5-second epochs,” the study reads. “We tested effect modification by child emotion regulation and home media practices.”

Interactions were much better among the young children who were read from a paper book, based on the findings.

Children susceptible to emotional outbursts experienced improvements when read from a print book, the study also found. Parents also were more likely to speak with their children during the reading of a print book.

“Parent-toddler reciprocal verbal interactions occurred less frequently with tablet versus print book use,” the authors determined in their findings.

“Pediatricians may wish to promote co-viewing and instructive media practices but may also consider that child emotion regulation may determine response to interactive tablet design.”