Breaking News
February 20, 2018 - FDA Approves Domestic Source for Tc-99m Isotopes
February 20, 2018 - Sanofi rejects refund demand faces Philippine suit over dengue vaccine (Update)
February 20, 2018 - Researchers discover that activation of specific enzyme may help suppress tumor metastasis
February 20, 2018 - Blood or marrow transplantation survivors have higher risk of cognitive impairment
February 20, 2018 - Booze Beats Pot at Being Unhealthy: Oregon Poll
February 20, 2018 - Morning Break: ’20 Years Late’; Drugs in the Dirt; Catching Flu in the Dorm
February 20, 2018 - Another piece to the puzzle in naked mole rats’ long, cancer-free life
February 20, 2018 - Scientists identify four viruses that can produce insulin-like hormones
February 20, 2018 - New e-Health solution developed to prevent cardiovascular disease, dementia in senior citizens
February 20, 2018 - New genetic risk score could help guide screening decisions for prostate cancer
February 20, 2018 - Study finds higher risk of stroke among blacks with atrial fibrillation than whites
February 20, 2018 - Physical activity could be used as strategy for diabetes prevention
February 20, 2018 - Researchers develop sensing method for early detection of cancer and diabetes
February 20, 2018 - New wearable electronics could be game-changer for stroke rehabilitation
February 20, 2018 - Immune history influences person’s response to flu vaccine
February 20, 2018 - Serenity Now! Learn to Have Patience with Patients
February 20, 2018 - Computer simulation addresses the problem of blood clotting
February 20, 2018 - Persistent bloating can be a sign of ovarian cancer, warns charity
February 20, 2018 - Trump administration proposes rule to loosen curbs on short-term health plans
February 20, 2018 - Key protein involved in epigenetic regulation of gene expression guides skin cell renewal
February 20, 2018 - Heart attack symptoms often missed in women
February 20, 2018 - Diagnosis of celiac disease takes 3.5 years for patients who do not report GI symptoms
February 20, 2018 - Study reveals functional dynamics of ion channels
February 20, 2018 - Study explores link between mortality risk and combustible tobacco use
February 20, 2018 - ‘She Trusted Me, and I’d Turned Her Away’
February 20, 2018 - AbbVie and Voyager Therapeutics collaborate to develop new treatments for tauopathies
February 20, 2018 - Fast food makes the immune system more aggressive in the long term
February 20, 2018 - Therapeutic target for glaucoma could have treatment ramifications for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
February 20, 2018 - Overcoming Negative Reviews | Medpage Today
February 20, 2018 - MyD88—villain of allergies and asthma
February 20, 2018 - Food scientists develop rapid screening technique to detect pesticide residue in vegetables
February 20, 2018 - Lab-grown cerebellar cells may help explain how ASD develops at molecular level
February 20, 2018 - Scientists explore connection between bad sleep habits and stiff blood vessels
February 20, 2018 - New Treatment Apalutamide (Erleada) Approved for Prostate Cancer That Resists Hormone Therapy
February 20, 2018 - Do You Really Need My Signature on That?
February 20, 2018 - HIV-1 genetic diversity is higher in vaginal tract than in blood during early infection
February 20, 2018 - Diabetes does not increase work-loss years due to early retirement
February 20, 2018 - Researchers aim to find out how PTSD affects decisions of police
February 20, 2018 - UH Cleveland Medical Center explores novel treatments for uterine fibroids
February 20, 2018 - Flu Vax Efficacy 25% Against Predominant H3N2 Strain So Far
February 20, 2018 - HIV screening most optimal at 25 years of age if no risk factors
February 20, 2018 - Loyola Medicine primary care physician offers advice to minimize risk of flu
February 20, 2018 - Safe sleep recommendations for parents that may help reduce child’s risk of SUID
February 20, 2018 - Why Do So Few Docs Have Buprenorphine Waivers?
February 20, 2018 - Low levels of alcohol good for the brain
February 20, 2018 - Experimental treatment improves invisible symptoms of a man with spinal cord injury
February 20, 2018 - Myriad’s EndoPredict offers better prediction of breast cancer recurrence, analysis shows
February 20, 2018 - Researchers identify fifteen genes that determine our facial features
February 20, 2018 - Morning Break: New Health IT Player; Luxturna No Bargain; Nuclear Freakout
February 20, 2018 - How does it compare? Hospice care at home, at assisted living facility, at nursing home
February 19, 2018 - Scientists develop water-soluble warped nanographene for bioimaging
February 19, 2018 - It’s Not Your Imagination: You’re Hungrier After Losing Weight
February 19, 2018 - Antihypertensive Use At Delivery Rising in Preeclampsia
February 19, 2018 - A centuries-old math equation used to solve a modern-day genetics challenge
February 19, 2018 - Liquid biopsies could be used as new predictive marker for metastatic TNBC
February 19, 2018 - Russian researchers develop new multi-layered biodegradable scaffolds
February 19, 2018 - Are ‘Vaccine Skeptics’ Responsible for Flu Deaths?
February 19, 2018 - Hidden genetic effects behind immune diseases may be missed, study suggests
February 19, 2018 - Emergency nurses experience regular verbal and physical abuse
February 19, 2018 - Study sheds light on biology that guides behavior across different stages of life
February 19, 2018 - Morning Break: Transgender Breast Feeding; Brazilian ‘Pro-Vaxxers’; Post-Stroke Exercise
February 19, 2018 - Meningitis vaccination strategy in Africa found to be effective, economical
February 19, 2018 - Researchers uncover how excess calcium may influence development of Parkinson’s disease
February 19, 2018 - Psoriasis drug also effective at reducing aortic inflammation
February 19, 2018 - Excess emissions can make serious contributions to air pollution, study shows
February 19, 2018 - Researchers reveal potential biological roots behind individuality
February 19, 2018 - Diabetes Drugs Differ on HF; School-Based Obesity Program Flop; Plaque Type in ACS
February 19, 2018 - Surgical infections linked to drug-resistant bugs, study suggests
February 19, 2018 - Poor awareness may hinder a child’s early dental care
February 19, 2018 - Research finds rising trend in incidence of merkel cell carcinoma
February 19, 2018 - Researchers uncover Ras protein’s role in uncontrolled cancer growth
February 19, 2018 - FDA Approves Apalutamide (Erleada) to Help Curb a Tough-to-Treat Prostate Cancer
February 19, 2018 - Educational Tool Boosts Cervical Length Screening
February 19, 2018 - Spider’s web inspires removable implant that may control type 1 diabetes
February 19, 2018 - Scientists develop fluorescent probe to identify cancer stem cells
February 19, 2018 - University Hospital of Santiago de Compostela participates in large pancreatic cancer study
February 19, 2018 - New blood test shows promise to revolutionize diagnosis of tick-borne diseases
February 19, 2018 - Report: Use, Not Price, Drives State Health Costs
February 19, 2018 - Emergency services crews often unprepared for diabetic crises
February 19, 2018 - Scientists in Sweden create DNA nanowires that offer hope for treatment of diseases
Technology not taking over children’s lives despite screen-time increase

Technology not taking over children’s lives despite screen-time increase

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

With children spending increasing amounts of time on screen-based devices, there is a common perception that technology is taking over their lives, to the detriment and exclusion of other activities. However, new Oxford University research has revealed that as digital past-times have become intertwined with daily life, children have adapted their behaviours to include their devices.

Much like adults, they are able to multi-task and also do all the things that they would do anyway.

The study also reveals key gender differences in how children use technology. Although boys and girls spend similar amounts of time using devices, boys spend significantly more time playing videogames compared to girls’, spending 50 mins per day, compared girls’ 9. The bulk of girls time is spent engaging in other activities such as study and socialising.

Conducted by Killian Mullan, a Senior Research Associate, at Oxford’s Centre for Time Use Research in the Department of Sociology, the study combines data from two national UK Time Use Surveys 2000-01 and 2014-15, to study changes in screen-based activities and to build a detailed picture of the time children spend using technology.

The work represents a first of its kind assessment of how the time children aged 8-18 spend daily on screen-based activities (TV, videogames and computers) has changed since 2000, together with an analysis of how children are incorporating the use of devices such as smartphones and tablets into their daily activities.

Previous studies have focused on how much time children spend doing certain screen-based activities per day, but have not included any context of other activities (such as homework, dinner etc.), making it difficult to fully appreciate how children incorporate the use of technology into their daily lives. Published in Child Indicators Research, the research uses high-quality time-diary data. Children fill out a diary, recording the sequence of activities they engage in throughout the day, and include when they are using a digital device (smartphone, tablet, computer) throughout the day.

The study reveals that children spent 10 minutes less time watching TV between 2000 and 2015. However their time playing videogames and using computers, (when this was the primary focus of their activity), increased by 40 minutes, giving an overall increase of 30 minutes in the time children spent on traditional screen-based activities.

The work considers the increased availability of portable devices (smart phones and tablets) and reinforces reports from other data sources, such as Ofcom, that in 2015 children spent on average 2hr 46 mins using a device (approximately 20 hours per week).

Killian said: ‘While this is undeniably a considerable amount of time, taken with context it suggests less cause for alarm. In fact, the study reveals that rather than allowing their devices to take over their lives, as some research suggests, children are combining the use of new technology with other activities. ‘Around half of this time is when a screen-based activity is the child’s primary focus (1 hr 30 min). While they report using computers as their main activity for 30 minutes, there is also an activity overlap of approximately an hour, where devices were used while watching TV or playing videogames. The increasing use of devices while watching TV coincides with a decrease in the pastime as a primary activity, suggesting that children may be watching TV on their phones and tablets instead of traditional platforms.’

For the remaining time that children are using devices, (a total of 1hr 16 min), they report engaging in a wide range of different activities including when at school (14 mins), socialising (13 min), travelling (12 mins), studying (9 min), eating (6 min), and playing sports (3 min). This raises important questions about the extent to which mobile devices are altering the nature of children’s experiences. However, the overall amount of time spent on these activities did not change noticeably between 2000 and 2015, indicating that the amount of time that children use technology may be increasing, but is not reducing time spent on other activities.

Killian explains: ‘Our findings show that technology is being used with and in some cases perhaps to support other activities, like homework for instance, and not pushing them out. Just like we adults do, children spread their digital tech use throughout the day, while doing other things.’

When time spent using devices is added to the measure of total screen-based activities (TV, videogames, computer), the increase in screen time between 2000 and 2015 jumps substantially from 30 minutes to 1 hr 46 min. However, the study highlights how children’s increasing use of technology is spread throughout the day while they are engaging in many other activities.

Whether this ability to multi-task is effective, proving a distraction, or even affecting their mental health, is not clear and needs further investigation. However, what is clear is that technology is not consuming children’s time and attention, as is commonly perceived.

Killian added: ‘People think that children are addicted to technology and in front of these screens 24/7, to the exclusion of other activities – and we now know that is not the case. The bigger point is that, as for adults, children are incorporating technology into daily life. They are taking the tech with them and they are doing all the things that they would do anyway – but now with devices. On paper, the total time children spend using digital devices sounds huge. But, when you break it down the picture that emerges shows how children have embedded tech in their daily activities – just like we have.’

Of the importance of the behavioural gender differences observed, Killian said: ‘Gender differences in the way in which children use technology are well known, but the substantial widening of the gender difference in time playing videogames is surprising. Much is written about the negative effects of videogames, but there are possible benefits as well. Boys, to a greater extent than girls, may be exposed to digital cultures surrounding video gaming that improve programming skills and jobs in technology, that may well shape expectations and help form critical pathways into careers in technology. Girls are not technophobes. They use technology as much as boys, but do so in markedly different ways. More research is needed to understand how to leverage all the different ways boys and girls use technology in their daily lives to help promote more gender balance in careers in technology’.

To expand the picture of children’s technology use further, Killian is also studying how use of screen-based technology relates to ‘family time’ and activities with their parents – results are expected in late 2018.


Explore further:
Study: Lower-income kids give more time to TV, digital media

More information:
Killian Mullan. Technology and Children’s Screen-Based Activities in the UK: The Story of the Millennium So Far, Child Indicators Research (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s12187-017-9509-0

Provided by:
University of Oxford

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles