According to new research in Language Development Research and Scientific Reports, the effects of lockdown measures on young children during the COVID-19 pandemic led to increased screen-time and impacts on language development.
13 countries and over 2,000 young children between the ages of eight and 36 months were included. The study was conducted by the University of Göttingen.
During the studies, online questionnaires were administered to the parents to assess the young participants’ age, exposure to languages, sibling count, and language development.
The parents were then asked for input after the lockdown measures associated with the pandemic ended. Screen time and vocabulary development were among the information needed by researchers.
The research uncovered that parents who read more often to their children resulted in better vocabulary development compared to the children who had higher exposure of screen time.
Furthermore, the research also showed that an increase in screen time was attributed to the lockdown measures and was greater if longer in duration.
Overall, the authors found that although screen time increased among young children during the pandemic, children learned more words during the lockdown phases than before.