Association between screen time and suspected developmental coordination disorder in preschoolers: a national population-based study in China

Geng, S., Wang, W., Huang, L., Xie, J., Williams, G.J. ORCID: 0000-0001-7689-1231, Baker, C., Du, W. ORCID: 0000-0002-5115-7214 and Hua, J., 2023. Association between screen time and suspected developmental coordination disorder in preschoolers: a national population-based study in China. Frontiers in Public Health, 11: 1152321. ISSN 2296-2565

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Introduction: Excessive screen exposure (ESE) is a growing global public health concern. This study aims to investigate the potential association between ESE and suspected developmental coordination disorder (DCD) in Chinese pre-schoolers, with or without siblings.

Method: A retrospective cohort study was conducted, involving 126,433 children from 551 cities in China. The Little Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire (LDCDQ) was employed to evaluate motor impairment in children, while parents provided information on their children’s screen time in the past year. A mixed and multi-level logistic regression model was used to analyze the associations of all screen exposure measurements from the past year with LDCDQ scores and the risk of suspected DCD.

Results: The prevalence of excessive screen exposure was 67.6% (>1 h per day) and 28.9% (>2 h per day) in Chinese pre-schoolers. One hour’s increase in weekday daily screen time, weekend daily screen time, and screen time before sleep in the past year was associated with a decreased total score of the LDCDQ (β were −0.690, −0.398, and −1.587, p < 0.001) and an increased risk of suspected DCD by 15.3%, 9.1%, and 46.8% when adjusting for the child, family and maternal health characteristics. Excessive screen exposure decreased the total LDCDQ scores by 1.335 (>1 vs. ≤1 h) and 1.162 (>2 vs. ≤2 h) and increased risks of suspected DCD by 44.0% (>1 vs. ≤1 h) and 31.1% (>2 vs. ≤2 h) with statistical significance (each p < 0.05). The stratified analysis showed that the association between screen time and LDCDQ score was stronger in children without siblings than in those with siblings.

Conclusion: The risk of suspected DCD was highest for screen time exposure before bed compared with average weekday and weekend exposures. Parents should be advised to prevent their children from using electronic screens unsupervised, especially in one-child families.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Frontiers in Public Health
Creators: Geng, S., Wang, W., Huang, L., Xie, J., Williams, G.J., Baker, C., Du, W. and Hua, J.
Publisher: Frontiers Media
Date: 27 April 2023
Volume: 11
ISSN: 2296-2565
Rights: Copyright © 2023 Geng, Wang, Huang, Xie, Williams, Baker, Du and Hua. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 02 May 2023 15:05
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 15:05

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