Program seeks Council approval for an initiative titled “Impact of Technology and Media Exposure on Early Childhood Development and Health Outcomes.” Technology and electronic media have become an integral part of our daily lives. Historically, widespread adoption of such innovations spurs concerns about negative impacts on children's development and health outcomes, especially in early childhood (birth to age 5). The recent proliferation of technologies and associated media used with and by infants onward has resulted in an urgent need to understand how this usage impacts multiple developmental domains and health outcomes as well as changes the very nature of social interactions between family members, peers and society at large.
The goal of this initiative is to create a locus of research examining the pathways by which technology exposure and media usage impact developmental trajectories and health outcomes in early childhood. This FOA will address the current fragmented nature of research conducted to date by creating a single entity that can support multiple coordinated research projects using extant and newly collected data as well as a data center that can facilitate the harmonization of technology and electronic media exposure/usage measures, developmental measures (e.g., neuroimaging, executive function, language development) and health outcome measures (e.g., BMI, physical activity, cortisol) for use with diverse populations. This initiative will provide both the infrastructure support and the platform necessary to advance data-informed theories and conceptual models addressing how technology and media exposure impact developmental trajectories and health outcomes in early childhood and throughout the lifespan.
This initiative addresses the NICHD Strategic Plan Research Theme 4: Improving Child and Adolescent Health and Transition to Adulthood as well as aligns with the priorities of CDBB related to early neurocognitive development and the acquisition of school readiness skills and abilities.
Child Development and Behavior Branch (CDBB)
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