Effect of screen time on behavior of pre-schoolers in Islamabad

  • Marriam Suleman Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital Rawalpindi
  • Ume Sughra
  • Asmaa Riaz
  • Maheen Akbar
Keywords: Pre-schoolers, Screen Time, Withdrawal Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Problems, Child behavior Checklist


Objective: Early years of childhood form the basis of intelligence, personality, social behaviour, and capacity to learn and nurture oneself as an adult. Our objective was to find out the effects of screen time on behavior of pre-schoolers, which could provide scientific grounds to the control of digital screen time.

Method: A cross sectional survey was conducted in four private preschools of Islamabad from June -November 2021. A sample size of 200 children ages three-five years were selected through multistage random sampling using a parental questionnaire. Children were grouped based on daily screen time of ≤60 minutes or >60 minutes. Analysis was made based on the Child behavior checklist for ages eighteen months-five years results. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was found to be 0.925. It was analyzed using SPSS version 22. Chi-square test, independent sample t-test and multi linear regression were applied to determine the association and significance levels between the variables.

Results: Study results indicate increased screen time was statistically significant with child’s age, education level and employment status of mothers. It was observed that pre-schoolers with screen time of > 60 minutes tend to suffer more from withdrawal syndrome (11.94±3.91, p = 0.014) sleep problems (10.97±3.20, p = 0.010) and Autism spectrum problems (17.66±5.89, p = 0.047) as compared to pre-schoolers with screen time ≤60 minutes. Strongest predictor of outcome variable was found to be mothers education level (ß = 21.53).

Conclusion: Study findings revealed that excessive screen time has deleterious effect and is associated with behavioural problems of pre-schoolers.

doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.39.2.6883

How to cite this: Suleman M, Sughra U, Riaz A, Akbar M. Effect of screen time on behavior of pre-schoolers in Islamabad. Pak J Med Sci. 2023;39(2):502-507. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.39.2.6883

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

How to Cite
Suleman, M., Ume Sughra, Riaz, A., & Akbar , M. (2023). Effect of screen time on behavior of pre-schoolers in Islamabad. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 39(2). https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.39.2.6883
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