A new study has found that caregivers who use mobile devices while watching young children are often disconnected from paying attention, causing a variety of behaviors in the children they are supposed to be watching.

The study in the online journal Pediatrics involved watching interactions between caregivers and children at restaurants.

Observers found that most caregivers who were using a mobile device were absorbed in that activity and did not pay close attention to the children's activities. They, in turn, either entertained themselves or acted up in an attempt to get attention. In some cases, the caregivers dealt with the immediate needs of the children as a means to get back to focusing on the mobile device, the observers found.

The researchers hoped to use their findings to develop studies looking into the long-term effects on children due to caregiver absorption in mobile devices.

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