Is too much media eroding kids’ attention spans? USA Today quotes psychologist David Walsh, who says, “It’s become harder over the last 10 years to keep kids’ attention. The expectation is to be constantly entertained and, if they’re not entertained, they quickly lose interest.”
The problem intensifies after third grade, when harder course work requires children to concentrate, adds Susan Ratteree, who supervises other public-school psychologists in suburban New Orleans. Diagnoses of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) “have gone through the roof,” she says. Though the disorder is more recognized these days, children seem to be different too, “and many teachers think the fast-paced media is having an effect.”
IQ scores keep rising: Today’s children are mentally agile. But perhaps not good at old-fashioned uni-tasking.