Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Association of screen time with long-term stress and temperament in preschoolers: results from the DAGIS study

List of Authors: Leppänen M, Sääksjärvi K, Vepsäläinen H, Ray C, Hiltunen P, Koivusilta L, Erkkola M, Sajaniemi N, Roos E

Publisher: Springer

Publication year: 2020

Journal: European Journal of Pediatrics

Journal acronym: Eur J Pediatr

Volume number: 179

Issue number: 11

Number of pages: 8

ISSN: 0340-6199



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Screen time is increasing rapidly in young children. The aim of this
study was to examine associations of long-term stress and temperament
with screen time in Finnish preschool children and the moderating role
of socioeconomic status. Cross-sectional DAGIS data were utilized.
Long-term stress was assessed using hair cortisol concentration,
indicating values of the past 2 months. Temperament was reported by the
parents using the Children’s Behavior Questionnaire (the Very Short
Form), and three broad temperament dimensions were constructed:
surgency, negative affectivity, and effortful control. Screen time was
reported by the parents over 7 days. The highest education level in the
household was used as an indicator of socioeconomic status. In total,
779 children (mean age, 4.7 ± 0.9 years, 52% boys) were included in the
study. Of the temperament dimensions, a higher effortful control was
associated with less screen time (B = − 6.70, p = 0.002).
There was no evidence for an association between hair cortisol
concentration and screen time nor a moderating role of socioeconomic
status in the associations (p > 0.05).

Our findings indicate that preschool children with a higher score in
effortful control had less screen time. Because effortful control
reflects general self-regulatory abilities, promoting these skills may
be effective in reducing screen time in young children.

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Last updated on 2022-07-04 at 17:55