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Development, healthy boundaries, parent-child relationship, pediatrics, screen time, systematic review



  1. McGough, Kaitlyn DNP, APRN, FNP-C (Nurse practitioner, Galesburg Family Practice)


Background: Ease of access to technology by the pediatric individual has brought with it new challenges for parents and guardians as they grapple to understand and formulate healthy boundaries between their child and the media. This transition into a media-forward generation has triggered a new wave of research discussing the relationship between early media exposure and the developing pediatric mind; media and the parent-child relationship; and recommendations for healthy boundaries from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as well as the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and American Psychological Association (APA).


Objectives: This systematic review was written for the purposes of equipping physicians and nurse practitioners to be the bridge between research and their patients. Parents and guardians often do not have access to the same evidence-based resources as health care providers, and to be able to implement the latest recommendations in their home, they must first be introduced to them.


Data sources: The search engines used were PubMed and CINAHL.


Conclusions: Review of literature reveals the effect of socioeconomic status, parental education, and ethnicity on pediatric screen time habits. There are also clear positive and negative effects on the developing pediatric mind and undeniable influences on the parent-child relationship. To enhance patient outcomes, the AAP, the AACAP, and the APA have presented recommendations for healthy media use.


Implications for practice: Early introduction of healthy media boundaries to the pediatric client will ultimately allow for the development of a physically, mentally, and socially healthier, more media-aware generation.