Arab World English Journal (January 2023)                       Theses ID 289               Pp. 1-61

Full Theses PDF

  The Impact of Screen Time on Language Development among Preschool-Age Saudi

  Rola Abdulaziz Abdullah Alibrahim
English language lecturer
Majmmah University, Majmaah, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia



 Author: Rola Abdulaziz Abdullah Alibrahim
Thesis Title: The Impact of Screen Time on Language Development among Preschool-Age
Saudi Children
Institution: Department of English Language and Literature Al-Imam Mohammed Ibn Saud
Islamic University
Degree:  M.A.
Major: Linguistics
Year of award:
Prof. Mohammed Nasser Alhuqbani
Keywords:  Screen time, Language development, Mobile media, Language delay,
Preschoolers, Educational content, Entertainment content, TV exposure, Technology

Young children are growing up in a new era of technology with increasing exposure to touch
screen devices. In this study, investigated whether exposure to screen time is associated with
children’s early language development. Fifty caregivers of Saudi children aged 24-60 months
completed a media exposure questionnaire and language screening survey. Thirty percent
needed learning activities, while four percent had a language delay and needed further
assessment. Data analysis revealed that spending more than two hours using a mobile device
predict language delay (P = 0.034); children of working mothers had low language scores
compared to children of housewives (P = 0.005); children who were watching entertainment
videos on YouTube had lower language scores than children who watched educational videos
(P = 0.049). Thus, the evidence suggests screen time quantity and quality correlate with
language development among young Saudi children.

Cite as: Alibrahim, R. A. A.(2023). The Impact of Screen Time on Language Development
among Preschool-Age Saudi Children. Department of English Language and Literature Al-Imam
Mohammed Ibn Saud Islamic University (M.A.Thesis). Retrieved from Arab World English
(ID Number: 289)  January, 2023:1-61.



Almekaini, L., Zoubeidi, T., Albustanji, Y., Narchi, H.,Al Jabri, O.,& Souid, A.

(2017). Screening for speech-language development in Emirati toddlers. Journal of

Psychology and Cognition, 02(01).

Alper, M. (2014). John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital

Media and Learning: Digital Youth with Disabilities. Cambridge, US: The MIT Press.

Alroqi, H. S. (2018). The relationship between screen media exposure and early language development.

Amawi, S.O., Subki, A.H., Khatib, H.A., Alkhateeb, O.S., Fida, R.H., Saggaf, O.M., Jan,

M.M. (2018). Use of electronic entertainment and communication devices among a

Saudi pediatric population: Cross-sectional study. Interact J Med Res, 7(2):e13 doi:10.2196/ijmr9103

Charafeddine, L., Sinno, D., Ammous, F., Yassin, W., Al-Shaar, L., Mikati, M. (2013).

Ages and stages questionnaires: Adaptation to an Arabic speaking population and cultural

sensitivity. European Journal of Paediatric Neurology, 17(5):47

Chomsky, N. (1965). Aspects of a theory of syntax. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Chonchaiya, W., Pruksananonda, C. (2008). Television viewing associates with delayed

language development. Acta Paediatr, 97(7), 977-982. doi:10.1111/j 1651- 2227.2008.00831.x

Christakis, D. A., Gilkerson, J., Richards, J. A., Zimmerman, F. J., Garrison, M. M.,

Xu, D., Yapanel, U. (2009). Audible television and decreased adult words, infant

vocalizations, and conversational turns: a population-based study. Arch Pediatr Adolesc

Med, 163(6), 554-558. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2009.61

Collisson, B. A., Graham, S. A., Preston, J. L., Rose, M. S., McDonald, S., Tough, S.

(2016). Risk and protective factors for late talking: An epidemiologic investigation. The

Journal of Pediatrics, 172, 168-174.e1.

Council on Media. (2016). Media and young minds. Pediatrics, 138(5). Doi


Dickinson, D. K., Mccabe, A. (2001). Bringing it all together: The multiple origins,

skills, and environmental supports of early literacy. Learning Disabilities Research and

Practice, 16(4), 186–202.

Duch, H., Fisher, E. M., Ensari, I., Font, M., Harrington, A., Taromino, C., Rodriguez, C.

(2013). Association of screen time use and language development in Hispanic toddlers: A

cross-sectional and longitudinal study. Clin Pediatr, 52(9) 857-865. doi:10.1177/0009922813492881

Eapen, V., Zoubeidi, T., & Yunis, F. (2004). Screening for language delay in the United

Arab Emirates. Child: Care, Health and Development, 30(5), 541-549.

Fadhli, K. A., Rahman Al-Bunaian, N. (2017). Prevalence and social influences of

delayed language development in preschool-age Saudi children. International Journal of

Science and Reseach, 6, 6-391.

Golinkoff, R. M., Ames, G. J. (1979). A comparison of fathers’ and mothers’ speech with

their young children. Child Development, 50(1), 28.

Henning, A., Striano, T., Lieven, E. V. (2005). Maternal speech to infants at 1 and 3

months of age. Infant Behavior and Development, 28(4), 519–536.

Hladik, E. G., Edwards, H. T. (1984). A comparative analysis of mother-father speech in
the naturalistic home environment. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 13(5), 321-332.

Hulit, L. M., Fahey, K. R., Howard, M. R. (2015). Born to talk: An introduction to speech

and language development: Pearson Education (6th ed.).

Jane S. J., Bricker, D., Felimba, H. S. Products. Retrieved from


Lenneberg, E. (1967). Biological Foundations of Language. New York: Wiley.

Linebarger, D. L., Walker, D. (2005). Infants’ and toddlers’ television viewing and

language outcomes. American Behavioral Scientist, 48(5), 624-645. doi


Madigan, S., Mcarthur, B. A., Anhorn, C., Eirich, R., Christakis, D. A. (2020).

Associations between screen use and child language skills. JAMA Pediatrics, 174(7), 665.

MOTHERESE: meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary. Cambridge Dictionary.

Parke, R. D., Cookston, J. T. (2019). Fathers and Families. Handbook of Parenting, 70-

Rideout, V., Saphir, M., & Rudd, A. (2013). Zero to eight: Children’s media use in

America 2013 (Rep.). Retrieved March 25, 2019, from Common Sense Media website:

Skinner, B. F. (1957). Verbal behavior. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Stein, M. T., Parker, S., Coplan, J., Feldman, H. (2001). Expressive language delay in a

toddler. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 22(2 Suppl), S99-S103.
Stothard, S. E., Snowling, M. J., Bishop, D. V., Chipchase, B. B., Kaplan, C. A. (1998).

Language-impaired preschoolers: a follow-up into adolescence. Journal of speech,

language, and hearing research: JSLHR, 41(2), 407–418.

Weizman, Z. O., Snow, C. E. (2001). Lexical output as related to children’s vocabulary

acquisition: Effects of sophisticated exposure and support for meaning. Developmental

Psychology, 37(2), 265–279.

Yeung, W. J., Sandberg, J. F., Davis-Kean, P. E., & Hofferth, S. L. (2001).

Children’s time with fathers in intact families. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63(1),


Zimmerman, F. J., Christakis, D. A., Meltzoff, A. N. (2007). Associations between

media viewing and language development in children under age 2 years. The Journal of

Pediatrics, 151(4), 364-368. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2007.04.071


 Rola Abdulaziz Abdullah Alibrahim: She is an English language lecturer at Majmmah University, Saudi Arabia. ORCid ID