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Children’s mental health and recreation: Limited evidence for associations with screen use

Kostyrka‐Allchorne, Katarzyna and Cooper, Nicholas R and Simpson, Andrew and Sonuga‐Barke, Edmund JS (2020) 'Children’s mental health and recreation: Limited evidence for associations with screen use.' Acta Paediatrica, 109 (12). pp. 2648-2655. ISSN 0803-5253

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Aim This study examined the direct and indirect associations between childhood psychopathology symptoms, screen use, media multitasking and participation in non-digital recreation. Methods Psychopathology symptoms, media use, media multitasking, participation in sports, social clubs and reading/games were reported by 520 parents about their 3- to 11-year-old children. The data were analysed using structural equation modelling. Results There were bidirectional negative associations between sports participation and emotional problems (β = −0.16, P < .001 and β = −0.15, P < .001); attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms were associated with reduced reading/games (β = −0.14, P = .004). A bidirectional positive association was found between media use and conduct problems (β = 0.10, P = .015 and β = 0.14, P = .015). Increased media multitasking was indirectly associated with elevated symptoms of ADHD via a reduction in reading/games (β = 0.10, P = .026). However, there was no evidence that screen use mediated the associations between psychopathology symptoms and non-digital recreation. Conclusion Depending on the specific psychological difficulties, children are either less likely to participate in non-digital recreation or are more likely to use screen media or multitask with media. Interventions for children, who experience emotional or behavioural difficulties, are needed to improve participation in non-digital recreation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: media multitasking; psychological problems in childhood; recreation; sports; screen use
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2020 11:29
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 12:24

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