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A Longitudinal Study of the Relation between Childhood Activities and Psychosocial Adjustment in Early Adolescence

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Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
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Centre for Safe Medication Practice and Research, Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
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Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
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Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, 1 Lilybank Gardens, Glasgow G12 8RZ, UK
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Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
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Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
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Department of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200240, China
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Ministry of Education-Shanghai Key Laboratory of Children’s Environmental Health, Shanghai 200092, China
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Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
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Department of Paediatrics and Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
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Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Melbourne, VIC 3052, Australia
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Research Department of Practice and Policy, UCL School of Pharmacy, London WC1E 6BT, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sven Bremberg
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5299; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105299
Received: 19 April 2021 / Revised: 12 May 2021 / Accepted: 13 May 2021 / Published: 16 May 2021
Background: Although an increasing body of research shows that excessive screen time could impair brain development, whereas non-screen recreational activities can promote the development of adaptive emotion regulation and social skills, there is a lack of comparative research on this topic. Hence, this study examined whether and to what extent the frequency of early-life activities predicted later externalizing and internalizing problems. Methods: In 2012/13, we recruited Kindergarten 3 (K3) students from randomly selected kindergartens in two districts of Hong Kong and collected parent-report data on children’s screen activities and parent–child activities. In 2018/19, we re-surveyed the parents of 323 students (aged 11 to 13 years) with question items regarding their children’s externalizing and internalizing symptoms in early adolescence. Linear regression analyses were conducted to examine the associations between childhood activities and psychosocial problems in early adolescence. Results: Early-life parent–child activities (β = −0.14, p = 0.012) and child-alone screen use duration (β = 0.15, p = 0.007) independently predicted externalizing problems in early adolescence. Their associations with video game exposure (β = 0.19, p = 0.004) and non-screen recreational parent–child activities (β = −0.14, p = 0.004) were particularly strong. Conclusions: Parent–child play time is important for healthy psychosocial development. More efforts should be directed to urge parents and caregivers to replace child-alone screen time with parent–child play time. View Full-Text
Keywords: psychosocial development; adolescence; early-life activities; screen time; cohort study psychosocial development; adolescence; early-life activities; screen time; cohort study
MDPI and ACS Style

Wong, R.S.; Tung, K.T.S.; Rao, N.; Ho, F.K.W.; Chan, K.L.; Fu, K.-W.; Tso, W.W.Y.; Jiang, F.; Yam, J.C.S.; Coghill, D.; Wong, I.C.K.; Ip, P. A Longitudinal Study of the Relation between Childhood Activities and Psychosocial Adjustment in Early Adolescence. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 5299. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105299

AMA Style

Wong RS, Tung KTS, Rao N, Ho FKW, Chan KL, Fu K-W, Tso WWY, Jiang F, Yam JCS, Coghill D, Wong ICK, Ip P. A Longitudinal Study of the Relation between Childhood Activities and Psychosocial Adjustment in Early Adolescence. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(10):5299. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105299

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wong, Rosa S.; Tung, Keith T.S.; Rao, Nirmala; Ho, Frederick K.W.; Chan, Ko L.; Fu, King-Wa; Tso, Winnie W.Y.; Jiang, Fan; Yam, Jason C.S.; Coghill, David; Wong, Ian C.K.; Ip, Patrick. 2021. "A Longitudinal Study of the Relation between Childhood Activities and Psychosocial Adjustment in Early Adolescence" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, no. 10: 5299. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105299

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