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Do Television and Electronic Games Predict Children's Psychosocial Adjustment? Longitudinal Research Using the UK Millennium Cohort Study

NCJ Number
ARCHIVES OF DISEASE IN CHILDHOOD Dated: March 2013 Pages: 1-10
Alison Parkes; Helen Sweeting; Daniel Wight; Marion Henderson
Date Published
March 2013
10 pages
This study examined how the amount of time watching television and playing electronic games at 5 years old each predicted change in psychosocial adjustment in a representative sample of 7-year-olds living in the United Kingdom.
Long periods of watching television daily when 5 years old predicted a small increase in conduct problems at 7 years old. No differences in psychosocial development were found for youth who spent a lot of time playing electronic games. Watching television for 3 hours or more daily at 5 years old predicted a 0.13-point increase in conduct problems by 7 years old, compared to children who watched television for under an hour daily at 5 years old. Typical daily hours viewing television and playing electronic games at 5 years old were reported by mothers of 11,014 children from the UK Millennium Cohort Study. Conduct problems, emotional symptoms, peer relationship problems, hyperactivity/inattention, and prosocial behavior were reported by mothers using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Change in adjustment from 5 years old to 7 years old was regressed on screen exposures, adjusting for family characteristics and functioning, and child characteristics. 5 tables and 55 references