1000 children will be studied for 16 years

2023-09-22

In a unique study at the Uppsala Child and Baby Lab, the development of 1000 children will be tracked for 16 years. The goal is to understand how children's early experiences and abilities are connected to their long-term development. What makes this study unique is its extensive scope, allowing for the examination of many complex aspects in relation to each other, such as language, social processes, and autonomous regulation.

The study begins tracking the children through surveys when they are as young as six months old. Before they reach 13 months, they visit the Uppsala Child and Baby Lab, where they view images and videos on a screen while an eye-tracking camera measures their gaze behavior. These measurements provide information about the child's attention, language comprehension, as well as their social and cognitive development.

"We want to include children from all social groups. The only requirements are that the child can see what is presented on the screen, hear the sound, and currently a caregiver needs to speak Swedish until we have translated the questionnaires and video materials into other languages," says Pär Nyström, who leads the project.

In the coming years, parents will answer questionnaires about their family's daily life and how much time their children spend in front of screens. As the child grows older, registry information will also be collected from child’s health centers (BVC), and grades will be gathered from schools up to ninth grade.

"Even though society is changing rapidly now, it is important to conduct these types of long-term studies so that we do not overlook how changes in the environment affect our children's development."

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Last modified: 2024-04-03