Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2013

Document Type



Psychology & Neuroscience

First Advisor

Dr. Eliana Colunga


Research on the effects of screen media, specifically infant-directed programming, on children’s language development is lagging behind the times. Children are being increasingly exposed to different forms of screen media so it is important to understand the effects that this media has on children’s learning. The purpose of this study was to learn more about how parent, child, and parent-child interaction behaviors during co-viewing interact with novel word learning performance. 45 toddlers (M = 32.09 months) participated in this study by co-viewing a word learning video with their parents. Sessions were videotaped and coded for certain behavioral measures that were used to cluster parents and children into behavioral groups. A univariate analysis of variance was run to compare parent and child clusters independently and interactionally to performance on a word learning task. Although parent groups and child groups did not differ on word learning performance independently, there was a significant difference on word learning performance when comparing amongst parent-child dyads, in which low-talking children benefitted from having directive parents and children with directive parents generally performed better at the second visit. This research has valuable implications for children’s learning and memory.