Preschoolers' extensive electronic media use linked to emoti
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Preschoolers' extensive use of electronic media, including game consoles, mobile phones, and tablets, is linked to a heightened risk of emotional and behavioral problems by the age of 5, finds research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

This study investigated the frequency of electronic media (e-media) usage by preschool children and the risks of high-dose e-media use on young children’s psychosocial well-being.

Longitudinal associations between e-media use at 18 months and psychosocial symptoms at 5 years of age were studied, as well as cross-sectional associations between e-media use and psychosocial symptoms at 5 years were assessed. Children’s psychosocial symptoms were determined at the age of 5 years using the parent-reported questionnaires Five-to-Fifteen (FTF) and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ).

--Based on the results, 95% of the preschool children exceeded the daily recommended use of e-media set by health professionals.

--Their results indicate that increased screen time at 5 years of age is associated with a risk of multiple psychosocial symptoms, while increased levels of e-media use at 18 months were only associated with FTF peer problems.

--Moreover, high-dose use of electronic games at the age of 5 years seems to be associated with fewer risks for psychosocial well-being than program viewing, as it was only associated with SDQ hyperactivity.

Conclusively, increased screen time has multiple risks for children’s psychosocial well-being. These risk factors seem to be significant in the long term and are related to problems in children’s socio-emotional development later on. Health professionals and pediatricians have an important role as communicators of the current research results on the safe usage time of e-media for families, and enhancing parents’ skills as regulators of children’s safe e-media use.

Source: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/11/3/e040848
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