ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (6): 1282-1293.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01282

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Video chat and child development

CAO Xinyun1, TONG Yu1, WANG Fuxing1(), LI Hui2()   

  1. 1School of Psychology, Central China Normal University
    2School of Education, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China
  • Received:2021-06-27 Online:2022-06-15 Published:2022-04-26
  • Contact: WANG Fuxing,LI Hui;


In recent years, with the growing popularity of internet-based devices, children are increasing exposed to various applications, especially video chat. Researchers begin to explore the potential influence of video chat on children's development. It was found that compared with traditional communication technology, video chat had the feature of audio-visual combination and real-time interaction. However, video chat still maintains the two-dimensional feature as traditional screen media. By summarizing current research focused on video chat and children's learning, it is found that compared with yoked video learning, video chat had a positive effect on children's vocabulary learning (d = 0.33) and movement learning (d = 0.90). Moreover, video chat helped children to maintain a high level of attention in the learning process (d = 0.90). Compared with traditional video learning, the advantage of video chat learning lies in that it can provide children with two different kinds of social cues: the relevance feedback provided by on-screen teachers and other social cues provided by the co-viewer in the scene, which can effectively improve the occurrence of video deficit to a certain extent and help children transfer the knowledge learned on the screen to the real world. At present, researches on video chat and children’s social development mainly focuses on the long-distance parent-child relationship and peer relationship. It is found that video chat has the potential to maintain or form secure attachment for children who are experiencing parent-child separation, and can promote the long-distance parent-child relationship to some extent. Meanwhile, studies found children can successfully carry out a series of free games with a long-distance partner through video chat. The remote interactive environment of mutual gaze created by video chat can also improve the sense of presence and mutual understanding between children and their partners in remote games. In addition to helping normal children with learning and social development, video chat can be used as an adjunctive therapy for intervention of children with disorders (e.g., ASD, Obesity), to help them improve their health and social skills. Future research might focus on expanding the age range of children in video chat learning, the influence of children’s previous experience with media and the different supportive behaviors of co-viewers on children’s video chat learning. Future research should also further explore the impact of video chat on children’s social development under the condition of long-term separation. And whether children’s video chats with other family members can help strengthen family bonds and encourage distant family members to become more involved in each other's lives, thus promoting children’s development.

Key words: video chat, child development, learning, contingency, co-viewing

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