High-dose electronic media use in five-year-olds and its association with their psychosocial symptoms: a cohort study

Janette Niiranen, Olli Kiviruusu, Riitta Vornanen, Outi Saarenpaa-Heikkila, E. Juulia Paavonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives

This study investigated the frequency of electronic media (e-media) usage by preschool children and the risks of high-dose e-media use on young children's psychosocial well-being.

Design

Longitudinal associations between e-media use at 18 months and psychosocial symptoms at 5 years of age were studied, as well as cross-sectional associations between e-media use and psychosocial symptoms at 5 years.

Setting

Between 2011 and 2017 in Finland.

Participants

Children aged 5 years (n=699).

Primary and secondary outcome measures

Children's psychosocial symptoms were determined at the age of 5 years using the parent-reported questionnaires Five-to-Fifteen (FTF) and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ).

Results

Based on our results, 95% of the preschool children exceeded the daily recommended use of e-media set by health professionals. Our results indicate that increased screen time at 5 years of age is associated with a risk of multiple psychosocial symptoms (OR 1.53-2.18, 95% CI 1.05 to 3.34, p

Conclusion

Increased screen time has multiple risks for children's psychosocial well-being. These risk factors seem to be significant in the long term, and are related to problems in children's socio-emotional development later on. Health professionals and paediatricians have an important role as communicators of the current research results on the safe usage time of e-media for families, and enhancing parents' skills as regulators of children's safe e-media use. More research is needed on the family conditions of high-dose e-media users.

Original languageEnglish
Article number040848
JournalBMJ Open
Volume11
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
ISSN2044-6055
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
  • epidemiology
  • community child health
  • child &amp
  • adolescent psychiatry
  • TELEVISION EXPOSURE
  • SCREEN TIME
  • FTF 5
  • BEHAVIORAL-PROBLEMS
  • CHILDREN
  • CHILDHOOD
  • QUESTIONNAIRE
  • ADOLESCENTS
  • TECHNOLOGY
  • SLEEP

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