Download the full text: McArthur_2021_Longitudinal Associations Between Screen Use and Reading in Preschool-Aged Children
study descriptionProspective birth cohort.
core topic(s)Shared Reading
Population CharacteristicsInternational , Pregnancy/Postpartum , Toddler/Preschool
Exposures, Outcomes, OtherChild Behaviors and Skills , Parent Behaviors and Skills , Reading Frequency , Technology and Digital/Screen-Based Media
objectivesTo understand whether screen use impacts off-line enrichment activities such as reading or whether reading activities offset screen use.
exposureScreen use and reading activities.
outcomes evaluatedScreen use and reading activities.
settingParticipants were from All Our Families, a pregnancy cohort of 3388 mothers and children from Calgary, Canada.
methodsUsing a prospective birth cohort, we examined reading and screen use at 24, 36, and 60 months to elucidate the directional association between screen use and reading over time. This study included data from 2440 mothers and children in Calgary, Alberta, drawn from the All Our Families cohort. Children’s screen use and reading activities were assessed via maternal report at age 24, 36, and 60 months. Sociodemographic covariates were also collected.
sample sizen=2440 (mothers and children)
Measure of Screen Use: maternal-report of the following activities on typical weekday and weekend days at three time points (24 months, 36 months, and 60 months):
- Range of time their child spent using electronic devices (ie, watching television programs; watching movies, videos, or stories on a videocassette recorder or digital video disk player).
- Range of time their child spent using a computer, gaming system, or other screen-based device).
Measure of Reading Activities: maternal-report of the following reading activities at three time points (24 months, 36 months, and 60 months) using a 4-point Likert scale:
- 24 Months: “Do you or another adult of the household read to your child or show him/her picture books?” (from (1) never to (4) daily).
- 36 Months: “How many minutes each day do you spend sharing books with your child?” (from (1) 0 to 10 minutes to (4) ≥30 minutes).
- 60 Months: “How many hours per day does your child spend doing the following activities outside of child care, preschool, or school: Read or look at books?” on a typical weekday and weekend day (from (1) none or 0 minutes to (4) ≥3 hours).