University of Oulu

Niko Männikkö, Heidi Ruotsalainen, Jouko Miettunen & Maria Kääriäinen (2020) Associations between Childhood and Adolescent Emotional and Behavioral Characteristics and Screen Time of Adolescents, Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 41:8, 700-712, DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2020.1725195

Associations between childhood and adolescent emotional and behavioral characteristics and screen time of adolescents

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Author: Männikkö, Niko1,2; Ruotsalainen, Heidi1; Miettunen, Jouko3;
Organizations: 1Department of Social Services and Rehabilitation, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Oulu, Finland
2Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Medical Research Center Oulu, Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Finland
4Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-05-13


The correlations between emotional and behavioral problems and increased screen time among young people has been highlighted in the literature. This study examined both longitudinal and cross-directional associations between the degree of childhood and adolescent emotional and behavioral problem characteristics and a higher level of daily screen time in adolescence using an extensive population study. Questionnaires providing data on a representative cohort sample (the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 Study, NFBC 1986; n = 6479; 3101 males) were completed at birth, in childhood, and in adolescence. Male gender, and self-reported behavioral issues (such as a higher degree of hyperactivity/distractibility problems at the beginning of formal schooling and adolescent rule-breaking problems), predicted higher daily screen time in adolescence, after controlling for confounding factors. Higher levels of anxious-depression symptoms among adolescents were inversely related to them having elevated daily digital screen time. Individual behavioral tendencies at the start of formal schooling and later in adolescence may predict higher screen time among young people.

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Series: Issues in mental health nursing
ISSN: 0161-2840
ISSN-E: 1096-4673
ISSN-L: 0161-2840
Volume: 41
Issue: 8
DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2020.1725195
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 316 Nursing
Funding: Financial support was received for this study from the Juho Vainio Foundation.
Copyright information: © 2020 Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Issues in Mental Health Nursing on 13 May 2020, available online: