Physical & Occupational Therapy In Pediatrics published research on 80 children (mean age = 60.1 months) to determine the effects of touch-screen tablet use on the fine motor development of preschool children without developmental delay. The children were placed in two different groups. One group of 40 children, who used a touch-screen tablet more 60 minutes per week for at least 1 month, received a 24-week home fine motor activity program using a touch-screen-tablet. The other group of 40 children, matched for age and sex, who did not meet the criteria for previous tablet use received a 24-week program consisting of manual play activities. Following the interventioin, the Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency was used to measure motor skills.
Data analysis indicated the following:
- pretest analysis showed no group differences in motor performance and pinch strength.
- posttest scores showed children in the nontouch-screen-tablet group made significantly greater changes in fine motor precision, fine motor integration, and manual dexterity.
The researchers concluded using a touch screen tablet extensively might be disadvantageous for the fine motor development of preschool children.
Reference: Ling-Yi Lin, Rong-Ju Cherng & Yung-Jung Chen. Effect of Touch Screen Tablet Use on Fine Motor Development of Young Children. Physical & Occupational Therapy In Pediatrics. Published online: 10 Jan 2017. http://ift.tt/2iD8Cgv
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