The Effect of Handheld Technology Use on the Health and Education of Young Children

Author: Raghad Mohammed M Alfaez

Alfaez, Raghad Mohammed M, 2018 The Effect of Handheld Technology Use on the Health and Education of Young Children, Flinders University, College of Science and Engineering

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Technologies are utilised to make human life more convenient and have increasingly become an integral part of daily family members' activities for a variety of purposes ranging from entertainment, education, and communication. However, there is the potential for people to find it difficult to remove themselves from technology. Advantages and disadvantages of technologies given to children notably received strong attention and became more puzzling due to inconsistent outcomes presented in the literature. To investigate these issues, the project presented in this thesis utilised a survey which targeted families with young children. The survey was designed with questions mapped into categories: general, focus, society and parent in a way to examine the study's main hypotheses. Three research investigations were proposed concerning (1) parent control over children technology use (2) academic attainment with technology (3) health-related issues of technology consumptions on children. The surveys were completed by 71 participant families comprising 111 children. It was found that the majority of parents impose restrictions on their children’s technology use; their restrictions were based on limiting time spent, restricting content or both. To investigate the academic development and potential health impact statistical tests were conducted on the survey data attempting to examine the following issues: (1) What is the effect of the time spent on handheld devices to a child’s academic level? (2) Does the use of handheld devices have a negative or positive impact on children’s health? The responses to the survey questions were evaluated using both Chi-square and t-test to identify any significant findings supporting or refuting the above issues. It was discovered that (1) the greater a parent’s awareness of technology and restriction of content on handheld devices results in higher academic attainment. (2) Based on the questions asked, the perception and reporting of parents on the health of their children directly related to the time spent on a handheld device, the greater time spent on a device the worse the health of the child.

Keywords: Handheld Technology, young children

Subject: Computer Science thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2018
School: College of Science and Engineering
Supervisor: Brett Wilkinson