Screens ‘damaging young brains’

NZ Herald Aug 2, 2010

A psychologist who made his name on the evils of television is now warning against computers as well, saying they are bad for the brains of young children. Dr Aric Sigman, an American-born British psychologist who is in Auckland for a forum organised by Family First, says computers should not be used in schools by any children under 9. He says research shows that young children’s social and educational development is retarded by screens of all kinds – “TV, educational TV, DVDs, computers, social networking, computer games. Children are adults [legally] at 18 but their brains are not adult till they’re 24 and a half,” he said. “Because of that, things that we know may have a negative impact should be limited till the brain has set in stone. So ideally, quite frankly, with children, wait as long as possible before they use technology for too many hours. There will be intellectual advantages for them.”