Screen-based behaviors in Australian adolescents: longitudinal trends from a 4-year follow-up study

Thomas, George and Bennie, Jason A. ORCID: and De Cocker, Katrien and Ireland, Michael J. and Biddle, Stuart J. H. ORCID: (2020) Screen-based behaviors in Australian adolescents: longitudinal trends from a 4-year follow-up study. Preventive Medicine, 141:106258. pp. 1-7. ISSN 0091-7435

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The longitudinal trends of screen time, a highly prevalent behaviour in adolescents, are relatively unknown. This study examined longitudinal trends in screen time among a large sample of Australian primary school-aged children transitioning into secondary school-aged adolescence. Data were derived from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). In 2010, 2,179 children (49.7% boys; 10.3±1.1 years) completed a time-use diary, recording their main activities during waking hours. This was repeated with the same sample in 2012 (12.4±0.5 years) and 2014 (14.4±0.5 years). Data were analyzed for time spent in TV viewing, computer use, electronic gaming, and social networking and online communication. Repeated-measures MANCOVA tests were performed to analyze trends in screen time. Trends were also analyzed by sex. Total screen time significantly increased (+85.9 min/day) over four years (ηp2 = .010, P < .001), but differed by sex, with a larger increase in boys (boys: +41.6, girls: +22.7 min/day). Electronic gaming increased in boys (+43.2 min/day) and decreased in girls (−16.8 min/day). In contrast, girls reported larger increases in TV viewing (boys: +0.4, girls: +29.1 min/day), computer use (boys: +24.8, girls: +34.3 min/day) and time communicating online and social networking (boys: +4.3, girls: +15.2 min/day). To conclude, screen time among adolescents increases between the ages of 10 and 14 years, but differs by sex and screen time domain. Future screen time reduction interventions may choose to focus on recreational computer use and electronic gaming in boys and TV viewing and time spent communicating online and social networking for girls.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling (1 Jan 2015 -)
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2021 05:11
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2021 04:10
Uncontrolled Keywords: screen time; Australia; longitudinal; trends
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine > 111403 Paediatrics
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420699 Public health not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200401 Behaviour and health
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