Study on Tween Girls Shows Multitasking May Harm Development

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"Look at me when I'm talking to you!"

It annoyed me when my mom said it, usually because my nose was buried in a book instead of looking at her. In today's world tweens are usually texting, watching videos, playing games, talking on the phone, or all of these things at once. But, a new study finds that multitasking in the tweenage years could be detrimental to their emotional and social development.

old friends
Old Friends by Wentuq via Flickr

The study by Stanford researcher Roy Pea, Education and CASBS at Stanford Fellow Cliff Nass, Communication, analyzed survey responses from 3,461 girls ages 8-12 about their electronic habits and their social lives. "The results were upsetting, disturbing, scary." Nass said.

The good news is that higher levels of face-to-face communication were associated with healthier social lives.

Of course, that also means that we all need to put down our electronic devices while talking to tweens ourselves. And it probably would be a good thing to make it a habit in general.

In the video below Cliff Nass discusses the study's results:

Read more about the study and the full story on the Stanford website.

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