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Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

Link Found in Kid's Computer Use and Test Scores

  • Jim Liebelt
    Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
  • 2010 Sep 16
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In what researchers describe as one of the first long-term looks at the effects of media use during childhood, a study released Wednesday linked hours at the computer with achievement test scores and behavior and found little sign of harm for children ages 6 to 12 as they increased their screen time over a six-year period.

Moreover, the study found benefits for girls and black boys.

"Generally, adolescent achievement and adjustment showed benefits from the use of the computer, and it didn't have to be studying. It could be playing games," said Sandra L. Hofferth, a family science professor and director of the Maryland Population Research Center.

Hofferth's results, published in the journal Child Development, showed that African American boys' reading scores improved by four points, considered significant, as they increasingly logged more time on the computer.

Girls' achievement test scores for reading and math notched upward by a point. Socially, there was another positive effect: White girls were less likely to be withdrawn as they played more on the computer.

Only white boys showed a decline in test scores -- small but statistically significant -- that Hofferth interpreted as resulting from too much surfing the Web. "Too much just random surfing isn't necessarily good," she said. "However, playing games and studying are more focused, and they have a positive effect."

Source: Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/14/AR2010091407044.html