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Poster A112

Does screentime impact response inhibition in neurdiverse children?

Poster Session A - Saturday, April 13, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Elizabeth Kuenzel1 (, Abagail Hennessy1, Eun Jung Choi1, Emily S. Nichols1,2, Emma G. Duerden1,2,3; 1Faculty of Education, Western University, 2Western Institute for Neuroscience, Western University, 3Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University

The aim of this study was to examine response inhibition using a gamified version of the Stroop task in a heterogeneous cohort of neurodiverse and neurotypical children, and to identify key risk and resilience factors (including screen time) associated with performance-based measures of cognition. A total of 229 participants ages 3-16 (89 neurotypical children [54% boys] 90 children with ADHD [51% boys], and 50 children with ASD [72% boys]) were recruited to the study. Using a validated online cognitive screener, participants completed the Stroop task. Parents completed questionnaires regarding children’s screen time use (passive TV watching, social media, video games), sleep, daily/weekly physical activities, socializing, reading and extracurricular activities. Very few children in the study met national guidelines for screentime, regardless of their neurodiagnostic group (X2=3.71, p=0.16). Based on a multivariate model, performance on congruent and incongruent trials on the Stroop task were comparable between the groups, however autistic children were more likely to make more attempts on the tasks (F=4.35, p=0.014), indicative of reduced impulse control. In a subsequent model, examining screen time and other lifestyle factors in relation to performance on the Stroop task, increased video game use was a significant predictor of more attempts. An interaction analysis revealed that only autistic children who spent more time playing video games used more attempts on the Stroop task (B=0.095, p<0.001). Findings indicate that screen time use, particularly video games, may be a modifiable risk factor for impaired response inhibition processes in autistic children.

Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Monitoring & inhibitory control


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April 13–16  |  2024