Parental Perception of the Social and Physical Environment Contributes to Gender Inequalities in Children's Screen Time

Daniela Rodrigues, Helena Nogueira, Augusta Gama, Aristides M. Machado-Rodrigues, Maria Raquel G. Silva, Vítor Rosado-Marques, Cristina Padez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: This cross-sectional study aimed to explore how parental perceptions of the social and physical environment of the neighborhood was associated with 3- to 10-year-old children's use of traditional and modern screen devices. METHODS: Participants were recruited under the scope of the project ObesInCrisis, conducted in 2016-2017 in the cities of Porto, Coimbra, and Lisbon (Portugal). Data from 6347 children aged 3-10 years were analyzed (3169 boys [49.9%]). A parental questionnaire was used to collect data on children's screen time (dependent variable) and parents' perceived social and physical environment (from the Environmental Module of the International Physical Activity Prevalence Study questionnaire; independent variable), parental education, and urbanization (used as covariates). RESULTS: Neighborhood features were more correlated with girls' screen time, than with boys', particularly among younger children. Also, more social than physical characteristics of the neighborhood were positively associated with children's use of television and mobile devices (ie, tablet and smartphone). CONCLUSIONS: Community-based approaches should improve the social environment and implement supervised after-school programs to encourage and support children to be outdoors and spend less time in sedentary pursuits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-117
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of physical activity & health
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • built environment
  • childhood
  • inequities
  • media use
  • perceived environment

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