Individual, home social and physical environment correlates of electronic media (EM) use among children were examined and pattern of differences on school and weekend days.
Youth (n = 298) aged 11 to 12 years self-reported time spent using EM (TV, video/DVD, computer use, and electronic games) on a typical school and a weekend day, each dichotomized at the median to indicate heavy and light EM users. Anthropometric measurements were taken. Logistic regression examined correlates of EM use.
In total, 87% of participants exceeded electronic media use recommendations of ≤ 2 hrs/day. Watching TV during breakfast (OR = 3.17) and after school (OR = 2.07), watching TV with mother (OR = 1.96), no rule(s) limiting time for computer game usage (OR = 2.30), having multiple (OR = 2.99) EM devices in the bedroom and BMI (OR = 1.15) were associated with higher odds of being heavy EM user on a school day. Boys (OR = 2.35) and participants who usually watched TV at midday (OR = 2.91) and late at night (OR = 2.04) had higher odds of being a heavy EM user on the weekend.
Efforts to modify children’s EM use should focus on a mix of intervention strategies that address patterns and reinforcement of TV viewing, household rules limiting screen time, and the presence of EM devices in the child’s bedroom.
Granich and Rosenberg are with the School of Sport Science, Exercise, and Health, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. Knuiman is with the School of Population Health, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. Timperio is with the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, Australia.