Background TV and infant-family interactions: Insights from home observations

Berna A. Uzundağ*, Sümeyye Koşkulu-Sancar, Aylin C. Küntay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background television has been found to negatively impact children's language development and self-regulatory skills, possibly due to decreased parent-child interactions. Most of the research on the relationship between background TV and caregiver-child interactions has been conducted in laboratory settings. In the current study, we conducted home observations and investigated whether infants engage in fewer interactions with family members in homes where background TV is more prevalent. We observed 32 infants at the ages of 8, 10, and 18 months in their home environments, coding for dyadic interactions (e.g., parent talking to and/or engaging with the child), triadic interactions (e.g., parent and infant play with a toy together), and infants' individual activities. Our findings revealed that background TV was negatively associated with the time infants spent in triadic interactions, positively associated with time spent engaging in individual activities, and not significantly related to the time spent in dyadic interactions. Apart from the relationship between background TV and individual activity time at 8 months, these associations remained significant even after accounting for families' socioeconomic status. These findings imply a correlation between background TV exposure and caregiver-infant-object interactions, warranting a longitudinal analysis with larger sample sizes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-607
Early online date3 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 May 2024


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