What mums think matters: a mediating model of maternal perceptions of the impact of screen time on preschoolers' actual screen time
journal contributionposted on 01.06.2017, 00:00 authored by Trina Hinkley, V Carson, Krystle Kalomakaefu, Helen BrownHelen Brown
Screen time during the preschool years is detrimental to wellbeing. The impact of parental perceptions on preschoolers' screen time is unknown. This paper explores the association between maternal perceptions of the impact of screen time on their preschoolers' wellbeing with their child's screen time and the potential mediating role of their perception of the appropriate amount of screen time. In 2013-2014, mothers of 575 preschoolers (2-5 years; metropolitan Melbourne and online sources) reported: their perceptions of the impact of screen time on 11 aspects of wellbeing, conceptually grouped to physical, social and cognitive well-being; their perceptions of the appropriate amount of screen time for preschoolers; and their child's actual screen time. Regression analyses investigated associations between perceptions and children's screen time. Mediation by perception of the appropriate amount of screen time was examined using indirect effects. Mothers' perceptions of the impact of screen time on social and cognitive wellbeing had a significant indirect effect on children's actual screen time through mothers' perception of the appropriate amount of screen time for their child. Findings illustrate the potential impact of parents' perceptions on their children's behaviors. Although a significant indirect effect was identified, direction of causality cannot be implied. Further exploration of the direction of association to determine causality, and interventions targeting parental perceptions, are warranted.