We’re going to talk about two contrasting studies here today centered on e-books, print books, parents, and toddlers. One study was published this week by Tiffany G. Munzer and colleagues who found toddlers interacted with parents more with print book reading than they did with e-books. Their study was done with 3 formats of book in a videotaped, laboratory-based, counterbalanced study of 37 parent-toddler dyads.

In this recent study, parents “showed significantly more” dialogic, text-reading, off-task, and total verbalizations with print books. Toddlers in the study “showed more” book-related verbalizations, total verbalizations, and higher collaboration scores with print-book reading.

Parents also had fewer format-related verbalizations with print books than with e-books. This essentially meant they didn’t have to tell their toddler to stop touching the screen or messing with the power buttons or volume buttons whilst reading. No such warnings are really needed with most print books.

This research concluded that “Parents and toddlers verbalized less with electronic books, and collaboration was lower.” They suggested that future studies should specifically look at e-book design features that encourage parent-child interaction. They also made mention to pediatricians that it might be an OK idea to suggest to parents that they read paper books instead of e-books, but were careful not to say they were demanding such a thing.

This first of two bits of research we’re looking at today was conducted by Tiffany G. Munzer, Alison L. Miller, Heidi M. Weeks, Niko Kaciroti, and Jenny Radesky, all of whom hail from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. They belong to a variety of departments, including Pediatrics, Medical School, Health Behavior and Health Education, Nutritional Sciences, Biostatistics, School of Public Health, and the Center for Human Growth and Development.

Read the full article by clicking on the title link.

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