Cell-Phone Distracted Parenting Can Have Long-Term Consequences: Stud
New research shows how cell phone distraction can deprive babies’ developing brains of crucial developmental signals
Few things require more hands-on attention than a young child.
And there’s little that’s more distracting than the constant bleeping of our cells phones.
When these two things compete for our attention, the results can be sobering.
In a new animal-based study published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, scientists show that distracted parental attention may sometimes have detrimental effects on babies’ development, especially their ability to process pleasure.
The study involved rats, but the implications, says one of the senior authors, could be very relevant for many parent-baby interactions in our technology-obsessed world.
That means that for people, there might be a similar critical time during which babies need to have a mom and dad’s reliable and consistent attention in order to form proper emotional processes.
That includes knowing that at a certain time every day, for example, food will come, or that when a toy appears, mom will play.
If mom is distracted by a call or a message alert, and turns to the cell phone instead, then this pattern gets broken and the crucial learning that should occur might not happen.
Other studies have shown that such poor development of the pleasure system could contribute to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Frank J Walker LMFT
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