Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Judith LeMaster

Reader 2

Michael Spezio

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2015 Maya Espiritu


Despite the rising prevalence of mobile media in young children’s lives, little research exists that examines the effects of mobile media use on early childhood cognitive development. This study will explore how mobile media use, specifically iPad use, in early childhood affects development of visual spatial attention span. Researchers will recruit 160 participants, ages 3 to 6, and categorize them into three groups: TV viewers only, interactive iPad users, and passive iPad users. Children will complete a computer task to measure the length of their visual spatial attention span. Parents will report on the average daily amount of media use, their child’s top three most viewed or used programs and apps, and the pervasiveness of media use, as well as complete a demographics survey. Research assistants will rate the level of exogenous stimuli children are exposed to in their top three programs and apps. Researchers predict that iPad use will be associated with shorter visual spatial attention spans in comparison to TV viewing, due to longer amounts of use, higher levels of exogenous stimuli, and higher levels of pervasiveness. In addition, researchers hypothesize that interactive iPad use will correlate with the shortest visual spatial attention spans due to highest levels of exogenous stimuli and longest amounts of use. The results will help parents and educators to more effectively monitor young children’s mobile media usage.