Do (pre)adolescents mind about healthy media use: Relationships with parental mediation, demographics and use of devices

Special issue: Health and Technology

Some forms of media use may negatively affect (pre)adolescents’ health, but little is known about the parent’s role herein. Therefore, an online questionnaire among 1,741 Dutch youngsters (10-18 years) explored, a) whether they use electronic media in a healthy manner – i.e., no media during bedtime; no smartphones while cycling; lowering headset volume; taking breaks during extended media use; and keeping un upright posture during extended use, b) whether these healthy manners vary with their gender, education level, age and use of media devices, and c) whether their healthy media use varies with their parent’s mediation. The analyses revealed that ‘only’ 11 to 30% of (pre-)adolescents use media in a healthy manner. Moreover, as expected, pre-adolescents (10-12 years), adolescents from higher education and girls were more apt to use media in a healthy manner, as were frequent users of smartphones. Finally, (pre-)adolescents who are restricted in media use by their parents and who co-use media together with parents were about two times likely to use media in a healthy manner than youngsters whose parents are not involved. These outcomes imply that healthy media use deserves more attention within the framework of media-literacy and parental mediation.

Health risk prevention; media use; restrictive parental mediation; active mediation; co-use

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