Parental attitudes about screen time in early childhood: A potential policy dilemma
ISPAH ePoster Library. Howie E. 10/15/18; 225238; 526
Dr. Erin Howie
Dr. Erin Howie
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Abstract Introduction While recent 24-hour movement guidelines aim to restrict screen use in young children, early learning initiatives putting screens into the hands of young children and promoting educational apps. An understanding of parent perspectives about their child’s technology use and general attitudes towards use is needed to bridge the gap between these conflicting messages with parenting practice.Methods Between January 2016 and January 2018, parents of young children (0-5 years) were recruited from three samples in Australia and the U.S. to complete an online questionnaire about their child’s technology use. Additional questions included perceived risk and benefits (Likert scale 1: strongly disagree, 5: strongly agree), and open-ended responses.Results Child mean total technology use was 69.3 (SD 81.2) minutes per day. The majority of parents agreed or strongly agreed that technology increased sitting (89%) and reduced physical activity (72%). Only 9% agreed or strongly agreed that using technology in childcare was good for their child’s education while 52% disagreed or strongly disagreed. Parental attitudes were associated with reported child total technology use with positive items associated with more use (rho ranging from .23 to .43) and negative items associated with less technology use (rho ranging from -.28 to -.21). Parents described mixed feelings about technology use.Conclusions The majority of parents were not opposed to young children using technology in moderation, however, they believed it may negatively impact their child’s physical health. Messaging to parents may need to focus on the quality of screen use and balance with other behaviours.
Abstract Introduction While recent 24-hour movement guidelines aim to restrict screen use in young children, early learning initiatives putting screens into the hands of young children and promoting educational apps. An understanding of parent perspectives about their child’s technology use and general attitudes towards use is needed to bridge the gap between these conflicting messages with parenting practice.Methods Between January 2016 and January 2018, parents of young children (0-5 years) were recruited from three samples in Australia and the U.S. to complete an online questionnaire about their child’s technology use. Additional questions included perceived risk and benefits (Likert scale 1: strongly disagree, 5: strongly agree), and open-ended responses.Results Child mean total technology use was 69.3 (SD 81.2) minutes per day. The majority of parents agreed or strongly agreed that technology increased sitting (89%) and reduced physical activity (72%). Only 9% agreed or strongly agreed that using technology in childcare was good for their child’s education while 52% disagreed or strongly disagreed. Parental attitudes were associated with reported child total technology use with positive items associated with more use (rho ranging from .23 to .43) and negative items associated with less technology use (rho ranging from -.28 to -.21). Parents described mixed feelings about technology use.Conclusions The majority of parents were not opposed to young children using technology in moderation, however, they believed it may negatively impact their child’s physical health. Messaging to parents may need to focus on the quality of screen use and balance with other behaviours.
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