Is attention the missing link? Coviewing and preschoolers’ comprehension of educational media

Preeti G. Samudra, Kevin M. Wong, Susan B. Neuman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coviewing is a commonly recommended practice, but little is known about how coviewing impacts children's educational media viewing experience. We investigated how coviewing impacts attention and comprehension of educational media, as well as the role of baseline vocabulary in understanding these associations. Eighty-three preschoolers viewed two videos on an eye-tracker – one with an adult coviewer and the other without. Children's baseline vocabulary, attention, and comprehension were assessed. Results indicated that coviewing benefited visual attention. Neither coviewing condition nor attention, however, predicted children's comprehension. Instead, comprehension was predicted by age, vocabulary, and an interaction between coviewing condition, vocabulary, and attention. The interaction revealed that comprehension was stronger in the coviewing condition than the noninteractive condition only when children also had stronger visual attention to the program and larger vocabularies. Results suggest that coviewing benefits attention, but that both attention and child language are integrally tied to whether coviewing predicts comprehension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101108
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Attention
  • Comprehension
  • Coviewing
  • Educational media
  • Vocabulary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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