Characterization of electronic device use among children and adolescents aged 6 to 14

Introduction: Children and adolescents use computers, cell phones, and tablets, among other electronic devices, daily in non-aca- demic activities. It is essential to characterize the impact these devices have on the socialization, interaction, and learning processes in this population segment. We should also investigate possible harmful effects that may be related to their use. The objective was to characterize how these devices are used and their impact on school performance, behavior, and physical activity in children and adolescents from 6 to 14 years of age. Materials and methods: This is a cross-sectional analytic study of 510 schoolchildren ages 6 to 9 and 10 to 14 from Bogotá and Cun- dinamarca, Colombia. They were surveyed with a 38-question survey characterizing the use of the devices and the symptoms of anxiety and depression, conflict resolution, sleep, and school performance. Results: The average age for initiation on the use of devices was four years. Cell phones were the most used in both groups (56.3% and 78.04%). Parents monitor the use of the device in 80% of cases. 40% of the time, device usage was greater than 90 minutes per day. About 16% reported sleep disturbance, frustration (48%), emotional lability (20%), and suicidal ideations (11%) also were reported. 19% did not play with their peers, and 7% did not report having close friends. Conclusions: This study shows the high exposure to electronic devices from an early age and their relation to behavioral factors. Fu- ture studies should explore the relationship between these factors and electronic devices in depth.
Category: Original scientific paper
Volume: Vol. 68, No 1, january-march 2024
Authors: Nancy Soraya Martínez-Estévez, Carmen Graciela Zamora-Reyes, Claudia Ximena Robayo-González, Carlos Gómez- Restrepo, María Mónica Rey-Atehortúa, Diana Carolina Solano-Aragón
Reference work: Paediatr Croat 2024;68:13-21

Read more