August 7, 2007
Contact: Josh Golin (617-896-9369;
For Immediate Release
Statement of CCFC’s
Dr. Susan Linn on Important New Study:
Slower Language Development for Infants
who Watch Baby Media
Today, a important new study found
that for infants, every hour
spent watching baby videos is associated with slower language
development – six to eight words less on a
standardized vocabulary test than babies who don’t watch.
The study, by
Frederick J. Zimmerman, Dimitri A.
Christakis,and Andrew Metzoff, appears in
The Journal of Pediatrics.* Below is a statement from
CCFC's Dr. Susan Linn on their findings:
“This important study is the clearest
indication yet of potential harm caused by the false and
deceptive marketing of television programming and DVDs that
target babies. Previous research suggests that television is
not a good medium for teaching language to babies. Now we see
that infants (ages 8-16 months) who watch baby videos have a
slower rate of language acquisition than infants who do not.
Not only is there no evidence that baby videos do any of the
things the baby video industry claims they do, but these media
may actually be undermining the development of the very skills
they claim to foster.
“We hope that this study spurs the
Federal Trade Commission to stop companies from falsely and
deceptively marketing their media for babies as educational.
The number one reason parents allow babies to watch
television and DVDs is the mistaken belief that the
programming is educational and/or good for brain development.
Studies show that 40% of three-month-old babies are regularly
placed in front of screens. By the age of two, 90% are
watching for about an hour and a half a day.”
Examples of the False and Deceptive
Claims from Media Companies that their Products Improve
Babies’ Language DevelopmentL:
Language Playground programming – “Encourages children
to develop language through introduction to words, signs,
and languages from around the world.” (Ages 6 months to 3
Baby's Favorite Places/First Words/Around Town DVD –
“The popular developmental series returns with an
educational trip around town.” (Ages 1 and up).
English – “Learning First Words.” (Ages 1
year and up.)
*Frederick J. Zimmerman, PhD, Dimitri A.
Christakis, MD, MPH, and Andrew Metzoff, PhD (August 7, 2007).
Associations between Media Viewing and Language Development in
Children Under Two. Journal of Pediatrics