Internet use during childhood and the ecological techno-subsystem

January 13, 2009

Research findings suggest both positive and negative developmental consequences of Internet use during childhood (e.g., playing video games have been associated with enhanced visual skills as well as increased aggression). Several studies have concluded that environmental factors mediate the developmental impact of childhood online behaviour. From an ecological perspective, we propose the techno-subsystem, a dimension of the microsystem (i.e., immediate environments). The techno-subsystem includes child interaction with both living (e.g., peers) and nonliving (e.g., hardware) elements of communication, information, and recreation technologies in direct environments. By emphasizing the role of technology in child development, the ecological techno-subsystem encourages holistic exploration of the developmental consequences of Internet use (and future technological advances) during childhood.

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