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29-01-2021 | Original Paper | Uitgave 3/2021

Journal of Child and Family Studies 3/2021

Parenting and Child Behaviour Barriers to Managing Screen Time With Young Children

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 3/2021
Auteurs:
Samuel Halpin, Amy E. Mitchell, Sabine Baker, Alina Morawska
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Abstract

The impact of excessive screen use on child health and development is now a public health concern, and research efforts are focused on finding ways to moderate screen use. To date, the focus has mainly been on school-aged children and adolescents, and the early childhood context has been comparatively neglected. Moreover, relationships between factors likely to influence screen use by young children (e.g., child behaviour, parenting style and self-efficacy) remain largely unexplored. Our study aimed to test relationships between parenting style, parents’ self-efficacy, parental distress, child behaviour, and young children’s screen time. We used a cross-sectional study design. Parents (N = 106) of young children (aged 0–4 years) living in Australia completed an online survey which assessed parent-reported child screen use, screen time-related child behaviour problems, parents’ self-efficacy for managing child behaviour and screen time, parents’ beliefs about the positive/negative effects of screen time, parenting style, general child adjustment and parent efficacy, and parent distress. Correlation coefficients revealed relationships between dysfunctional parenting styles, screen time-related child behaviour problems, and parent self-efficacy for dealing with these behaviours. Using hierarchical multiple regression models, children’s screen time behaviour problems explained the greatest variance in parents’ self-efficacy for managing screen time, and parents’ self-efficacy for managing child screen time explained the greatest variance in parent-reported child screen time. Further research is needed to disentangle these relationships; however, preliminary results suggest that child behaviour difficulties and parents’ self-efficacy warrant further investigation as potentially useful targets for interventions aiming to improve screen use in early childhood.

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