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A Longitudinal Study of the Relation between Childhood Activities and Psychosocial Adjustment in Early Adolescence

Wong, RS; Tung, KTS; Rao, N; Ho, FKW; Chan, KL; Fu, KW; Tso, WWY; ... Ip, P; + view all (2021) A Longitudinal Study of the Relation between Childhood Activities and Psychosocial Adjustment in Early Adolescence. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health , 18 (10) , Article 5299. 10.3390/ijerph18105299. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Although an increasing body of research shows that excessive screen time could impair brain development, whereas non-screen recreational activities can promote the development of adaptive emotion regulation and social skills, there is a lack of comparative research on this topic. Hence, this study examined whether and to what extent the frequency of early-life activities predicted later externalizing and internalizing problems. Methods: In 2012/13, we recruited Kindergarten 3 (K3) students from randomly selected kindergartens in two districts of Hong Kong and collected parent-report data on children’s screen activities and parent–child activities. In 2018/19, we re-surveyed the parents of 323 students (aged 11 to 13 years) with question items regarding their children’s externalizing and internalizing symptoms in early adolescence. Linear regression analyses were conducted to examine the associations between childhood activities and psychosocial problems in early adolescence. Results: Early-life parent–child activities (β = −0.14, p = 0.012) and child-alone screen use duration (β = 0.15, p = 0.007) independently predicted externalizing problems in early adolescence. Their associations with video game exposure (β = 0.19, p = 0.004) and non-screen recreational parent–child activities (β = −0.14, p = 0.004) were particularly strong. Conclusions: Parent–child play time is important for healthy psychosocial development. More efforts should be directed to urge parents and caregivers to replace child-alone screen time with parent–child play time.

Type: Article
Title: A Longitudinal Study of the Relation between Childhood Activities and Psychosocial Adjustment in Early Adolescence
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18105299
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105299
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Keywords: psychosocial development; adolescence; early-life activities; screen time; cohort study
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy > Practice and Policy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10128708
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