Screen Time or Not to Screen Time?

//Screen Time or Not to Screen Time?

Screen Time or Not to Screen Time?

Screens and electronics are becoming increasingly present in our children’s lives. Televisions, smartphones, gaming systems, laptops, and tablets are easily available to most children and teens. This creates a difficult position for parents who want to limit their child’s screen time but don’t want to face a battle. Many parents often ask, “How much screen time is too much? Is it really that bad?” New research has the answers.

In a recent study from San Diego State University, even 1 hour of daily screen time was found to have an effect on children and teens. With 1 hour of daily use, children and teens show lower self-control and less emotional stability. However, most youths are not limited to 1 hour of daily use, and instead, they spend an average of 5 to 7 hours of leisure time on screens everyday. This screen time was found to have significant impacts on youths:

  • Teens who spend over 7 hours on screens daily are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety than those who only spend 1 hour on screens
  • Even 4 hours daily can result in lower emotional well-being than 1 hour of daily use
  • Preschoolers who were allowed a lot of screen time lost their temper twice as often and had more difficulty calming down when excited than those who had less screen time
  • Adolescents aged 11-17 with high screen use (7 hours or more) were less likely to finish tasks and less interested in learning new things

Overall, these findings support the need for limitations on screen time. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends screen time be limited to 1 hour daily for children aged 2 to 5. For older children and adolescents, some organizations recommend limiting screen time to 2 hours daily. It is also important to keep consistent limits around screen time and limit media use in children’s bedrooms or without supervision.

By |2018-12-13T20:41:26+00:00December 9th, 2018|

About the Author:

Dr. Stephanie M. Fox
Dr. Fox’s professional training took her throughout the Four Corners area, which inspired her practice name. In 2009, she earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of New Mexico, graduating summa cum laude. She earned her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University, Denver in 2012, and her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Arizona School of Professional Psychology in 2016. Throughout her training, Dr. Fox has had an extensive assessment background, including conducting diagnostic, forensic, and educational/achievement evaluations with adolescents and adults. She completed a predoctoral internship at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan, and completed her postdoctoral work in private practice in personality and psychoeducational evaluations. Collectively, Dr. Fox has completed hundreds of evaluations covering a diverse range of issues. Dr. Fox is licensed as a Psychologist in the state of Colorado (#4709), and is also nationally certified as a Health Service Psychologist by the National Register (#55849). She is a member of the American Psychological Association, Colorado Psychological Association, and Colorado Assessment Society.