Information Available to Parents Seeking Education about Infant Play, Milestones, and Development from Popular Sources

Parents commonly seek information about infant development and play, yet it is unclear what information parents find when looking in popular sources. Play, Milestone, and Development Searches in Google identified 313 sources for content analysis by trained researchers using a standardized coding scheme. Sources included websites, books, and apps created by professional organizations, commercial entities, individuals, the popular press, and government organizations/agencies. The results showed that for popular sources: (1) author information (i.e., qualifications, credentials, education/experience) is not consistently provided, nor is information about the developmental process, parents’ role in development, or determining an infant’s readiness to play; (2) milestones comprise a majority of the content overall; (3) search terminology impacts the information parents receive; (4) sources from the Milestone and Development Searches emphasized a passive approach of observing developmental milestones rather than suggesting activities to actively facilitate learning and milestone development. These findings highlight the need to discuss parents’ online information-gathering process and findings. They also highlight the need for innovative universal parent-education programs that focus on activities to facilitate early development. This type of education has potential to benefit all families, with particular benefits for families with children who have unidentified or untreated developmental delays.
This article was originally published in Behavioral Sciences. The version of record is available at: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
child development, internet, infancy, parenting practices, play and playthings, health education, information seeking, content analysis, milestones, quality education
Orlando, Julie M., Andrea B. Cunha, Zainab Alghamdi, and Michele A. Lobo. 2023. "Information Available to Parents Seeking Education about Infant Play, Milestones, and Development from Popular Sources" Behavioral Sciences 13, no. 5: 429.