Volume index - Journal index - Article index - Map ---- Back

Comunicar Journal 66: Public schools for educational transformation in the Knowledge Society (Vol. 29 - 2021)

Predicting wellbeing in children’s use of smart screen devices


Félix Ortega-Mohedano

Fernando Pinto-Hernández


This study presents an explanatory Ordinary Linear Regression Model for predicting wellbeing in the use of smart screen devices among children and youngsters in Spain, using a database of microdata for a total of 23,860 national representative households and some 6,106 total cohabiting minors under 15 years of age. The World Health Organization actively recommends children and youngsters to spend less hours in front of smart screen devices and encourages substituting them with more active play and direct socialisation. The main purpose of our research is to study the impact of the use of these devices on mental and physical well-being, sleep pattern, and the potential explanatory effects. To address the analysis, we contrasted the modelisation model proposed with microdata provided in the 2017 version of the National Health Survey in Spain. We performed a series of ordinary least square regression models OLS, obtaining significant information on the effects and risks excessive use of smart screen devices may be inflicting on children and adolescents in Spain. As a main result, we contrasted with the data and the modelisation that those individuals who use these devices more intensively have higher risk of mental health problems, significantly reduced sleeping hours and have a higher chance of suffering physical health problems such as obesity


Media consumption, child audiences, obesity, health, TIC, linear regression model

PDF file in Spanish

PDF file in English


AIMC (Ed.) (2019). 5º Estudio AIMC Niñ@s, 2019. AIMC. https://bit.ly/2YbKBSP

Angrist, J.D., & Pischke, J.S. (2008). Mostly harmless econometrics: An empiricist's companion. Princeton University Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctvcm4j72

Angrist, J.D., & Pischke, J.S. (2014). Mastering 'metrics: The path from cause to effect. Princeton University Press. https://bit.ly/2KGl8ci

Borzekowski, D.L.G. (2014). Examining media’s impact on children’s weight: Amount, content, and context. In A.B. Jordan, & D. Romer (Eds.), Media and the well-being of children and adolescents (pp. 44-51). Oxford University Press. https://bit.ly/2Seja7n

Choi, S.W. (2009). The effect of outliers on regression analysis: regime type and foreign direct investment. Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 4(2), 153-165. https://doi.org/10.1561/100.00008021

Common Sense Media (Ed.) (2011). Zero to eight: Children’s media use in America. Common Sense Media. https://bit.ly/3eDlw81

Crescenzi-Lanna, L., Valente, R., & Suárez-Gómez, R. (2019). Safe and inclusive educational apps: Digital protection from an ethical and critical perspective. [Aplicaciones educativas seguras e inclusivas: La protección digital desde una perspectiva ética y crítica]. Comunicar, 61, 93-102. https://doi.org/10.3916/c61-2019-08

Gerlitz, C., & Helmond, A. (2013). The Like economy: Social buttons and the data-intensive web. New Media & Society, 15(8), 1348-1365. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444812472322

Gomes-Franco-Silva, F., & Sendín-Gutiérrez, J.C. (2014). Internet as a haven and social shield. Problematic uses of the network by young spaniards. [Internet como refugio y escudo social: Usos problemáticos de la Red por jóvenes españoles]. Comunicar, 43, 45-53. https://doi.org/10.3916/C43-2014-04

Goodyear, V.A., Armour, K.M., & Wood, H. (2018). Young people and their engagement with health-related social media: New perspectives. Sport, Education and Society, 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2017.1423464

Helsper, E.J., & Smahel, D. (2019). Excessive internet use by young Europeans: Psychological vulnerability and digital literacy? Information, Communication & Society, 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2018.1563203

Hoge, E., Bickham, D., & Cantor, J. (2017). Digital media, anxiety, and depression in children. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2016-1758G

Jiménez, E., Garmendia, M., & Casado, M.A. (2018). Entre selfies y whatsapps. Oportunidades y riesgos para la infancia y la adolescencia conectada. Gedisa. https://bit.ly/2xUL7Kx

Kenney, E.L., & Gortmaker, S.L. (2017). United States adolescents’ television, computer, videogame, smartphone, and tablet use: Associations with sugary drinks, sleep, physical activity, and obesity. Journal of Pediatrics, 182, 144-149. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.11.015

Livingstone, S., & Blum-Ross, A. (2020). Parenting for a digital future, how hopes and fears about technology shape children’s lives. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190874698.001.0001

Livingstone, S., Mascheroni, G., & Staksrud, E. (2018). European research on children’s internet use: Assessing the past and anticipating the future. New Media & Society, 20(3), 1103-1122 https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444816685930

Mascheroni, G., Ponte, C., & Jorge, A. (2018). Digital parenting: The challenges for families in the digital age. NORDICOM Clearinghouse Yearbook 2018. https://bit.ly/3eXizAt

Montes-Vozmediano, M., García-Jiménez, A., & Menor-Sendra, J. (2018). Teen videos on YouTube: Features and digital vulnerabilities. [Los vídeos de los adolescentes en YouTube: Características y vulnerabilidades digitales]. Comunicar, 54, 61-69. https://doi.org/10.3916/C54-2018-06

National Health Survey (Ed.) (2017). SNHS 2017 Methology. https://bit.ly/35cf5pC

Pediatrics, 140(2), 76-80. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2016-1758G

Ponte, C., & Batista, S. (2019). EU Kids Online Portugal. Usos, competências, riscos e mediações da internet reportados por crianças e jovens (9-17 anos). EU Kids Online e NOVA FCSH. https://bit.ly/3eV00wS

Ponte, C., Castro, T.S., & Pereira, S. (2019). Parenting young children in changing media environments with twenty years apart. Comunicazioni sociali, 41(2), 276-288. https://doi.org/10.26350/001200_000064

Rich, M., Bickham, D.S., & Shrier, L.A. (2015). Measuring youth media exposure: A multimodal method for investigating the influence of media on digital natives. American Behavioral Scientist, 59(14), 1736-1754. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764215596558

Rideout, V., & Robb, M.B. (2019). The common sense census: Media use by tweens and teens. Common Sense. https://bit.ly/2KEVXaj

Robinson, T.N., Banda, J.A., Hale, L., Lu, A.S., Fleming-Milici, F., Calvert, S.L., & Wartella, E. (2017). Screen media exposure and obesity in children and adolescents. Pediatrics, 140(Suppl. 2), 97-101. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2016-1758K

Shepperd, M., & MacDonell, S. (2012). Evaluating prediction systems in software project estimation. Information and Software Technology, 54(8), 820-827. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infsof.2011.12.008

Smahel, D., Machackova, H., Mascheroni, G., Dedkova, L., Staksrud, E., O?lafsson, K., Livingstone, S., & Hasebrink, U. (2020). EU Kids Online 2020: Survey results from 19 countries. EU Kids Online. https://doi.org/10.21953/lse.47fdeqj01ofo

Staksrud, E., Ólafsson, K., & Livingstone, S. (2013). Does the use of social networking sites increase children’s risk of harm? Computers in Human Behavior, 29(1), 40-50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2012.05.026

Stoilova, M., Nandagiri, R., & Livingstone, S. (2019). Children’s understanding of personal data and privacy online – A systematic evidence mapping. Information, Communication & Society, 1-19 https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2019.1657164

Sturman, M.C. (1999). Multiple approaches to analyzing court data in studies of individual differences: The propensity for Type 1 errors, illustrated with the case of absenteeism prediction. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 59(3), 414-430. https://doi.org/10.1177/00131649921969956

Trucco, D., & Palma, A. (2020). Infancia y adolescencia en la era digital: Un Informe comparativo de los estudios de Kids Online del Brasil, Chile, Costa Rica y Uruguay. Comisio?n Econo?mica para Ame?rica Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL). https://bit.ly/3fBVyTI

Valcke, M., Bonte, S., De-Wever, B., & Rots, I. (2010). Internet parenting styles and the impact on Internet use of primary school children. Computers and Education, 55(2), 454-464. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2010.02.009

Wooldridge, J.M. (2010). Introduccio?n a la Econometri?a, un enfoque moderno. CENGAGE Learning. https://bit.ly/3eSxDQ9

Yubero, S., Larrañaga, E., Navarro, R., & Elche, M. (2018). Parents, children and Internet use. Family socialization on the Internet. Universitas Psychologica, 17(2), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.11144/Javeriana.upsy17-2.phis