Murray State Theses and Dissertations


Research has been well documented as to the effects of screen time on mental health, physical health, cognitive development, and social development. However, little research exists as to the effects of screen time on the nonverbal aspects of communication, specifically eye gaze. In order to inform speech language pathologists when treating children with language and pragmatic disorders, this study examined the eye gaze of participants during physical play. Twenty-six participants from 5 to 8 years of age were recruited from a western Kentucky school. Results of eye gaze durations in participants were compared to screen time amounts in the home. Screen time averages were divided into two categories: passive screen time (e.g. television and videos) and interactive screen time (e.g. video games). No statistical differences were noted for either category.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

eye gaze, eye contact, screen time, technology, social communication

Degree Awarded

Master of Science


Communication Disorders


College of Education & Human Services

Thesis Advisor

Sharon B. Hart

Committee Chair

Sharon B. Hart

Committee Member

Kelly A. Kleinhans

Committee Member

Samir H. Patel

Document Type