Cross-sectional Associations Between the Screen-Time of Parents and Young Children: Differences by Parent and Child Gender and Day of the Week

Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2014 Apr 23;11:54. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-11-54.

Abstract

Background: Greater time spent screen-viewing (SV) has been linked to adverse health outcomes. The aim of this study was to examine whether parental SV time is associated with child SV time on week and weekend days.

Methods: Cross-sectional survey of 1078 children aged 5-6 and at least 1 parent. Child and parent SV was reported for weekday and weekend days. Logistic regression examined whether parental SV time was associated with child SV time, with separate analyses for mothers and fathers and interaction terms for child gender.

Results: 12% of boys, 8% of girls and 30% of mothers and fathers watched ≥ 2 hours of TV each weekday. On a weekend day, 45% of boys, 43% of girls, 53% of mothers and 57% of fathers spent ≥ 2 hours watching TV. Where parents exceeded 2 hours TV-watching per weekday, children were 3.4 times more likely to spend ≥ 2 hours TV-watching if their father exceeded the threshold with odds of 3.7 for mothers. At weekends, daughters of fathers who exceeded 2 hours watching TV were over twice as likely as sons to exceed this level. Evidence that parent time spent using computers was associated with child computer use was also strongest between fathers and daughters (vs. sons) (OR 3.5 vs. 1.0, p interaction=0.027).

Conclusions: Strong associations were observed between parent and child SV and patterns were different for weekdays versus weekend days. Results show that time spent SV for both parents is strongly associated with child SV, highlighting the need for interventions targeting both parents and children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Sex Factors
  • Television*
  • Time Factors