Marie-Andrée Binet - Health Sciences

Marie-Andrée is a doctoral candidate in Health Sciences at theUniversité de Sherbrooke. Her undergraduate studies in psychology led her to take an interest in the interactions between digital media (content delivered via a digital screen device) and human behavior. Photo credit: Michel Caron, Université de Sherbrooke.

Project: On the other side of the light screen: characteristics of preferred media content for children under 5 years of age

" Your cousin Alexia has just turned 4, and she seems quite attached to her iPad. In fact, Alexia spends around three hours a day in front of a screen. What do you know about the videos she watches on her tablet and the apps she plays?

There are millions of programs and apps specifically designed for children under 5. Through screens, children could be exposed to all kinds of content: games or educational shows (Dora the Explorer, for example), or inappropriate language (via the TikTok app, for example). 

My project aims to provide more detailed information on the content to which young children are exposed via screens. Around 300 parents filled in a questionnaire on their 5-year-old child's favorite TV shows and mobile applications. You'll have the important task of analyzing this content according to the presence of educational elements, violence, coarse language or romantic innuendo. We'll then see whether the content preferred differs according to certain characteristics of the child or his family. For example, do boys prefer more violent content? Do children who prefer educational content show less aggressive behavior? "

This mentored research project will be conducted in French or English. This project will require a presence at the Université de Sherbrooke for at least half of the time.