Real-World Usage of Educational Media Does Not Promote Parent–Child Cognitive Stimulation Activities

Published:April 25, 2017DOI:



      To determine whether educational media as actually used by low-income families promote parent–child cognitive stimulation activities.


      We performed secondary analysis of the control group of a longitudinal cohort of mother–infant dyads enrolled postpartum in an urban public hospital. Educational media exposure (via a 24-hour recall diary) and parent–child activities that may promote cognitive stimulation in the home (using StimQ) were assessed at 6, 14, 24, and 36 months.


      Data from 149 mother–child dyads, 93.3% Latino, were analyzed. Mean (standard deviation) educational media exposure at 6, 14, 24, and 36 months was, respectively, 25 (40), 42 (58), 39 (49), and 39 (50) minutes per day. In multilevel model analyses, prior educational media exposure had small positive relationship with subsequent total StimQ scores (β = 0.11, P = .03) but was nonsignificant (β = 0.08, P = .09) after adjusting for confounders (child: age, gender, birth order, noneducational media exposure, language; mother: age, ethnicity, marital status, country of origin, language, depressive symptoms). Educational media did predict small increases in verbal interactions and toy provision (adjusted models, respectively: β = 0.13, P = .02; β = 0.11; P = .03). In contrast, more consistent relationships were seen for models of the relationship between prior StimQ (total, verbal interactions and teaching; adjusted models, respectively: β = 0.20, P = .002; β = 0.15, P = .006; β = 0.20, P = .001) and predicted subsequent educational media.


      Educational media as used by this sample of low-income families does not promote cognitive stimulation activities important for early child development or activities such as reading and teaching.


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