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Home-based screen time behaviors amongst youth and their parents: familial typologies and their modifiable correlates

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posted on 2020-10-01, 00:00 authored by Lauren ArundellLauren Arundell, Kate Parker, Anna TimperioAnna Timperio, Jo SalmonJo Salmon, Jenny VeitchJenny Veitch
Abstract Background Excessive screen time behaviors performed by children and parents at home is a major public health concern. Identifying whether child and parent screen time behaviors cluster and understanding correlates of these familial clusters can help inform interventions for the whole family. This study characterized familial typologies of screen time behaviors and identified key modifiable correlates of these typologies. Methods Parents participating in the cross-sectional Sitting in the Home (SIT) study reported the duration (mins/day) they and their child (aged 11.2 ± 2.62 years) spent in six screen time behaviors at home (computer/laptop for home/work, computer/laptop for leisure, TV/videos/DVDs, tablet/smart phone for home/work, tablet/smart phone for leisure, and electronic games) and completed items related to 21 potential correlates framed by an adapted Social Cognitive Theory, Family Perspective. Latent Class Analysis was used to identify typologies based on parent and child data for the six behaviors. Multinomial logistic regression analysis assessed the relative risk of typology membership for each potential correlate, adjusting for child and parent age and sex. Results The sample comprised 542 parent-child dyads (parents: 40.7 ± 6.3 yrs., 94% female; children: 11.2 ± 2.6 yrs., 46% female). Three typologies were identified: 1) high computer/moderate TV (n = 197); 2) high TV/tablet/smartphone, low computer (n = 135); and 3) low-screen users (n = 210). ‘Low-screen users’ spent the least amount of time in all screen time behaviors (assigned as reference category). Greater child preference for screen time behaviors, parental support for screen time behaviors and frequency of homework requiring a tablet/laptop were associated with higher odds of being in the ‘high computer/moderate TV’ typology. The odds of being in the ‘high TV/tablet/smartphone, low computer’ typology were greater amongst children with a higher preference for screen time behaviors, and lower among more active parents. Conclusions Three familial typologies of screen time behaviors were identified. The findings highlight that screen time in the home can be influenced by the home environment, parental behaviours and role modelling, child preferences as well as school policies. Findings can inform the development of family screen time interventions, however more research exploring the influence of factors outside of the home is warranted.



BMC public health





Article number



1 - 11


BioMed Central


London, Eng.







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal