Screen time is linked to behavioral problems in children – Consumer Health News

FRIDAY, March 18, 2022 (HealthDay News) — There are small but significant correlations between screen time and behavioral problems in children ages 12 and younger, according to findings from a systematic review and meta -analysis published online on March 16 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Rachel Eirich, from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of the literature to identify studies assessing the association between duration of screen time and externalizing and internalization of behavior problems in children (12 years and under).

Based on 87 studies (159,425 participants), researchers found that increased screen time had a small but significant correlation with more outward-looking issues like aggression and inattention (r0.11) and internalizing issues such as anxiety and depression (r, 0.07) in children. There was evidence of significant heterogeneity between studies ( = 87.80), which was explained by the methodological moderators.

“Our study identified several important methodological moderators of the association between screen time and behavioral problems, such as the type of informants and the screen time measures used, which highlight the lack of harmony in screen time literature,” the authors write. “It is essential that researchers use more rigorous methods and approaches to analyze screen time data and to further explore the different facets of screen use (i.e. content and context) associated with children’s mental health in a rapidly changing digital world.”

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