- The relationship between media multitasking and executive function in early adolescents
- Conference papers: International Communication Association: annual meeting
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Media multitasking is an ever more popular form of media consumption, in particular among youth. The increasing prevalence of media multitasking is concerning because frequent media multitasking may be negatively related to children’s cognitive control abilities (i.e. executive function). This study investigated the relationship between media multitasking and executive function in 118 early adolescents (aged 11 to 13; 50% girls). The three central components of executive functions (i.e., working memory, shifting, and inhibition) were measured using self-reports on daily-life functioning, as well as experimental tasks (Digit Span, the Dots-Triangles Task, and the Eriksen Flankers Task). Regression analyses revealed that media multitasking significantly predicted self-reported measures of executive function. Adolescents who media multitask more frequently reported having more problems in the three domains of executive function. Media multitasking was however not related to the performance on the experimental tasks (Digit Span and Dots-Triangles Task). Interestingly, adolescents who engaged more frequently in media multitasking were better in ignoring irrelevant distractions in the Eriksen Flankers Task. Overall, the results suggest that although media multitasking is negatively related to executive function in everyday life, it may be
positively related to specific components of cognitive processing.
- Proceedings title: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Hilton Metropole
Hotel, London, England, Jun 17, 2013
Publisher: International Communication Association
Place of publication: Washington, DC
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