WATCH | Study finds teen screen time doubled amid Covid-19 pandemic

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US researchers warn that average daily screen time among adolescents has more than doubled amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The study, conducted by experts from the University of California who looked at data taken from more than 5000 children aged 10 to 14 years old, revealed that screen use increased to 7.7 hours per day, where pre-pandemic estimates saw teen screen time at roughly 3.8 hours per day. 


This is one article in a series on the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on ordinary South African families. Find the full series here: Behind the Mask

Also see: These are the harms Facebook researchers have been documenting for years

According to the study, screen time includes:

  • Multiple-player gaming
  • Single-player gaming
  • Texting
  • Social media
  • Video chatting
  • Browsing the internet
  • Watching or streaming entertainment

The total daily screen use that researchers determined excluded teens' school work.

Researchers also found that social support and coping behaviours were linked with lower screen use while on the other hand, poorer mental health and greater perceived stress were associated with higher total screen use. 

The researchers suggested that future studies need to monitor teen screen use trends as pandemic restrictions are lifted. 

Read the full series here: Behind the Mask

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