Parents reported their child’s total screen time, including video games and mobile devices, and completed the child behavior checklist when the child was five years old.
The average screen usage time was 1.4 hours per day at five years and 1.5 hours per day at three years.
Compared to children who used the screen less than 30 minutes a day, 13.7% who used it for more than two hours were five times more likely to report “clinically significant” behavior problems and was 5.9 times more likely that had problems of lack of attention.
In addition, children with more than two hours of screen per day had a 7.7 times greater risk of meeting the criteria for attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder .
According to the authors, the findings indicate that the preschool stage can be a “critical” period to educate parents and families about how to limit screen time and encourage physical activity.
“The more time children spent doing organized sports, the less likely they were to exhibit behavior problems,” the authors noted.
In their conclusions, the researchers ruled that the results of this study “support an active beginning for children that translates into screen time replaced by sports .