A Comparative Time-Diary Analysis of UK and US Children’s Screen Time and Device Use

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a comparative analysis of the time school-age children 8-17 years in the UK and the US spent using devices such as smartphones and tablets, and their time in screen-based activities such as watching TV and playing videogames in 2014-15. The paper draws on innovative instruments measuring children’s time using technology and engaging with screens in these two countries. We find that in both, children’s time using devices overlaps with time in screen-based activities, non-screen leisure, and non-leisure activities. Children in the UK spend more time using devices than children in the US, but family size and the availability of an internet connection at home largely explain major cross-national differences. Children in the US spend less time using computers than children in the UK, and, on non-school days, more time watching TV and playing videogames. These differences remain significant after controlling for a range of child, parent and family-level characteristics. Divergent cross-national patterns for children’s time using relatively new devices and their time in more established screen-based activities are linked to differences in family composition and to differential access.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-021-09884-3
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Policy
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Funding: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Grant number R01-HD053654); National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Grant number R24-HD041041)
Publication ISSN: 1874-8988
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://link.sp ... 187-021-09884-3 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-12-02
Published Online Date: 2021-12-02
Accepted Date: 2021-11-29
Authors: Mullan, Killian (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-0027-037X)
Hofferth, Sandra L.

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