Screen time linked to psychological problems in children

October 11, 2010
Screen time linked to psychological problems in children

(PhysOrg.com) -- Children who spend longer than two hours in front of a computer or television screen are more likely to suffer psychological difficulties, regardless of how physically active they are.

The PEACH project, a study of over a 1,000 children aged between ten and 11, measured the time children spent in front of a screen as well as their psychological well being. In addition, an activity monitor recorded both children's sedentary time and moderate physical activity. The results showed that more than two hours per day of both and recreational computer use were related to higher psychological difficulty scores, regardless of how much time the children spent on physical activity.

The authors of the report, published in the November edition of the American journal Pediatrics, conclude that limiting children's screen time may be important for ensuring children's future health and wellbeing.

According to the activity monitor, the children in the study who spent more time sedentary had better psychological scores overall. Those children who did more moderate physical activity fared better in certain psychological areas, including emotional and peer problems, but fared worse in some areas related to behaviour, including .

Lead author Dr Angie Page from the University of Bristol's Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences said: "Whilst low levels of screen viewing may not be problematic, we cannot rely on to 'compensate' for long hours of screen viewing.

" or playing computer games for more than two hours a day is related to greater psychological difficulties irrespective of how active children are."

Children's psychological wellbeing was assessed on the basis of a strengths and difficulties questionnaire which rated their emotional, peer, conduct and hyperactivity problems.

The were asked to rate a series of statements as true on a three-point scale, varying from not true, to somewhat true to certainly true. Statements to assess their emotional wellbeing included; 'I am often unhappy, down-hearted or tearful', while statements to assess their peer problems included; 'I am usually on my own', 'I generally play alone or keep to myself'.

More information: pediatrics.aappublications.org/

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Motorcycle crashes cause five times as many deaths as car accidents, six times the health costs

November 20, 2017
Motorcycle accidents are costly in terms of lives and health care costs. Compared with car accidents, motorcycle accidents cause 3 times the injuries, 6 times the medical costs and 5 times the deaths, found new research in ...

Changes in young people's sexual practices over the last 20 years revealed

November 20, 2017
Published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the study describes changes in young people's sexual practices using nationally-representative data from the National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal), the ...

Dog ownership linked to lower mortality

November 17, 2017
A team of Swedish scientists have used national registries of more than 3.4 million Swedes aged 40 to 80 to study the association between dog ownership and cardiovascular health. Their study shows that dog owners had a lower ...

New shoe makes running 4 percent easier, 2-hour marathon possible, study shows

November 17, 2017
Eleven days after Boulder-born Shalane Flanagan won the New York City Marathon in new state-of-the-art racing flats known as "4%s," University of Colorado Boulder researchers have published the study that inspired the shoes' ...

Vaping while pregnant could cause craniofacial birth defects, study shows

November 16, 2017
Using e-cigarettes during pregnancy could cause birth defects of the oral cavity and face, according to a recent Virginia Commonwealth University study.

Study: For older women, every movement matters

November 16, 2017
Folding your laundry or doing the dishes might not be the most enjoyable parts of your day. But simple activities like these may help prolong your life, according to the findings of a new study in older women led by the University ...

6 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

feOly
5 / 5 (3) Oct 11, 2010
Did they test parents's psychological wellbeing on the study also?
Too much hours spent on the screen could mean just other problems at home...
philosothink
5 / 5 (1) Oct 11, 2010
I agree. I cannot help but wonder if these were kids babysat by a tv/computer or if they were with INVOLVED parents. Why the child is watching must have some relevance. Kids who are ditched by parents have a whole different psychological makeup than kids whose parents are involved in the lives of their children.
Grallen
not rated yet Oct 11, 2010
It seems they ignored the inverse question. Is it "Watching TV" that causes a problem or is it the problem that causes "Watching TV".

It's often the inverse of what people think is obvious that is the truth.
NameIsNotNick
5 / 5 (4) Oct 11, 2010
Did anyone actually read the article? It's about correlation, not causation. It poses a question.. it doesn't attempt to answer it.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Oct 11, 2010
It seems they ignored the inverse question. Is it "Watching TV" that causes a problem or is it the problem that causes "Watching TV".
Assuming it is a problem that causes "watching TV" there should have been a different effect caused by this problem in the pre-TV era. Which effect has been replaced by the effect "watching TV"?
ArcainOne
not rated yet Oct 11, 2010
Read the article
According to the activity monitor, the children in the study who spent more time sedentary had better psychological scores overall. Those children who did more moderate physical activity fared better in certain psychological areas, including emotional and peer problems, but fared worse in some areas related to behaviour, including hyperactivity.


Sedentary means couch potato, i.e. watching tv or playing computer

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.