Parent and child screen-viewing time and home media environment

Am J Prev Med. 2012 Aug;43(2):150-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.04.012.


Background: Screen-viewing time has been associated with adverse health outcomes. Data on the predictors of youth screen-viewing time is predominately from older children in North America. Parental and home media environment factors that are associated with screen-viewing time could be targeted in interventions.

Purpose: Examine if parental screen-viewing time and electronic media (access to game equipment, TVs, PCs, and laptops) environment factors were associated with Portuguese children's screen-viewing time and if associations differed by child age (<7 vs ≥7 years); gender; or type of screen viewing.

Methods: Data are reported for 2965 families with children aged 3-10 years. Data were collected in 2009-2010 and analyzed in 2011. Outcomes were child spending ≥2 hours watching TV and ≥1 hour per day playing with combined other media. Exposures were mothers and fathers watching ≥2 hours of TV and electronic media variables.

Results: Parental TV-viewing time was strongly associated with child weekday and weekend TV-viewing time across all four gender and age subgroups. Maternal TV-viewing time was a stronger predictor of child TV-viewing time than paternal TV-viewing time. There was very limited evidence that parental TV-viewing time was associated with combined other media time among boys or girls. Access to electronic game equipment increased the likelihood that children spent >1 hour using combined other media on weekdays and weekend days.

Conclusions: Parental TV-viewing time was associated with Portuguese children's TV-viewing time. The numbers of TVs in the household and electronic games equipment access were also associated with TV- and combined other media-viewing/usage time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Child, Preschool
  • Computers / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Fathers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Portugal
  • Sex Factors
  • Television / statistics & numerical data*
  • Time Factors
  • Video Games / statistics & numerical data*