In-school study suggests children multitasking on different media harmful to mental health

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Partial Spearman correlation profile for total media time (age, gender, MMI control, left panel) and media multitasking (MMI, age, gender, total media time control, right panel). Credit: Cardoso-Leite et al. , 2021 PLOS ONE, CC-BY 4.0 (

A team of researchers at the University of Luxembourg and the University of Geneva have found evidence that suggests that how children do it, rather than the time they spend on electronic media, can lead to problems. The team created a survey conducted at a public elementary school outside Geneva, Switzerland, and a dissertation explaining what they learned from it, and posted it on an open access site. PLOS ONE..

In the last few years, the use of electronic media has Children Adults alike now have access to TVs, computers, tablets, smartphones and video games. Previous efforts to determine how the use of such media affects both adults and children have shown mixed results. In this new initiative, researchers sought a more direct approach to learning more about the topic. They made arrangements with a single primary school staff to engage with the children and those who knew them well.To that end, they conducted a survey to ask parents, teachers, and students various questions. Electronic media Use and how it affected the children who used it.

The survey focused primarily on children aged 8 to 12 to 118, and both boys and girls filled out questionnaires given by researchers. The questions were designed to learn about media use, attention issues, sleep quality and quantity, performance, levels of motivation, beliefs, and mental health in general. The questions given to teachers and parents focused on learning about their perceived concepts of media use by children.

School studies suggest that children multitask in a variety of media that are detrimental to mental health

Partial Spearman Correlation Profile of Time Spent on Video Games (Age, Gender, Media and Media Multitasking Total Time Control). The three panels are the time spent on all kinds of video games (left panel), or the time spent separately on action-like video games and non-action-like video games (right panel). Is shown. Credit: Cardoso-Leite et al. , 2021 PLOS ONE, CC-BY 4.0 (

After analyzing their data, researchers found little evidence that media use contributed. mental health Children’s problems in general — The problem only occurred when trying to mix the children. For example, watching TV while sending a text message to a friend on a mobile phone has been found to increase stress and can lead to behavioral and emotional problems. They also found that the time children spend using media increases as they get older — at the age of eight, such use is about four and a half hours a day. .. By the age of 12, that number had exceeded eight. Researchers also found that, as expected, boys spend more time playing video games than girls.

Extensive use of electronic media in preschoolers is associated with emotional / behavioral problems

For more information:
Pedro Cardoso-Leite et al, Media Use, Attention, Mental Health and Academic Performance for Children 8-12 Years Old, PLOS ONE (2021). DOI: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0259163

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