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obesity crisis
older girls
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stanford university
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little girls
youtube
emotional development
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Multitasking Girls May Be Missing Out On Social Development Skills
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Multitasking Girls May Be Missing Out on Social Development Skills

With the news of the ongoing obesity crisis, technology is often getting the blame. A new study by researchers at Stanford University is revealing that many of the tools that young people take for granted may be costing them in terms of their social development. That study, which focused on young girls, has revealed that too much time spent with electronics may be leading to ongoing behavioral and social development problems. Although the study focused solely on young girls, researchers believe that it may have some similar implications for young boys as well.

Clifford Nass, a professor of communications with Stanford worked on this study and also worked with major electronics companies in the role of consultant. Nass said that some of these findings, which will be published in the journal, Developmental Psychology, while not new or shocking are still troubling on a number of levels.

The study used more than 3400 girls, ranging in age from eight to twelve who answered a number of survey questions for researchers. That study showed that the girls who spent the most time either watching videos on YouTube, updating on Facebook, text messaging one another and watching television at the same time were also the most likely to develop abnormal social tendencies.

Nass focused on girls because of the wide variations in how boys emotional development occurs. In boys, that set of social skills can take longer to develop and may be much different from one boy to the next. The study found two key findings that are relevant in terms of socialization at various age stages for the girls. First, little girls, those at the younger age range of the study, were hampered in developing proper social behavior when they used certain types of technology, including FaceTime, the Apple video app. Second, the older girls, were more likely to have social problems when they had the least amount of face to face, human interaction.

This echoes the standings of a study done by Nass and another team a few years ago. In that study, adults who were multitasking, especially those who performed other tasks while on the computer or on the phone, were found to have several cognitive issues, including the inability to focus on what they were supposed to be doing as well as minor memory issues. Those adults also had their performance on a number of the tasks they were trying to do rated as poor, overall.


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