March 13, 2019 7:25 pm

Okanagan participants wanted for study of tech’s effects on young children

A joint study between a B.C. university and three non-profit organizations in the Okanagan will be examining the impact of screen time on young children and families.

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Organizers of a study regarding children and technology are looking for Okanagan residents with kids to participate in the online survey.

According to organizers, the goal of the study is “to identify healthy and unhealthy patterns of technology use in families with young children.”

The study is said to be the first of its kind in Canada and is titled, “Do families need to power down to connect? A study of technology, relationships and well-being.”

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The study is a joint effort between UBC Okanagan and three Kelowna-based non-profit organizations: Project Literacy, Childhood Connections Okanagan and The Early Years Partnership.

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“Increasingly, young children are spending more time on digital devices,” organizers said in a press release. “Most Canadian children between the ages of three and five spend on average more than two hours each day engaged with digital technology.

“This dramatic increase in screen activity has led some parents to wonder what impact these technologies are having on their children’s well being.”

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Researchers say they are looking for Okanagan residents with at least one child between the ages of two and five to complete a 20- to 30-minute online questionnaire.

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The study will run until May, and approximately 120 people have already participated. Those who complete the questionnaire will receive a $10 gift card or have the option to donate $10 to charity.

Organizers say questions that the study will address are:

  • Am I harming my child by letting her/him watch TV?
  • Should I allow my child to use my smartphone/tablet/other devices?
  • How much screen time is too much?
  • What effect does my screen time have on my child?

Researchers added that the study’s findings will inform programs and policies of local non-profit organizations, including Project Literacy Kelowna, Childhood Connections and the local United Way.

For more on the study, click here.

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