Abstract / Description of output
Excessive screen time among adolescents is discussed as a significant public health concern. Identifying adolescent longitudinal patterns of time spent on regularly-used media screens and understanding their young adulthood mental health and behavioral issue correlates may help inform strategies for improving these outcomes. This study aimed to characterize joint developmental patterns of time spent on videogames, surfing/chatting the Internet, and TV/DVDs during adolescence (at ages 11, 13, 15, 17) and their associations with mental health (i.e., depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and self-injury) and behavioral issues (i.e., substance use, delinquency, aggression) in early adulthood (at age 20). A parallel-process latent class growth analysis was used to model data from a diverse community-ascertained sample of youth in Zurich, Switzerland (n = 1521; 51.7% males). Results suggested that a five-class model best fitted the data: (1) low-screen use, 37.6%; (2) increasing chatting/surfing, 24.0%; (3) moderate-screen use, 18.6%; (4) early-adolescence screen use, 9.9%; and (5) increasing videogame and chatting/surfing, 9.9%. After adjusting for baseline levels of outcomes (primarily at age 11), the trajectory groups differed in their associations with adulthood outcomes of mental health and behavioral problems, indicating the importance of problematic screen usage patterns in predicting these outcomes. Future research to test the directionality of these associations will be important. These findings suggest which patterns of screen use may be a marker for later mental health and behavioral issues in different domains.
Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)
- screen time
- mental health and behavioral issues
- joint trajectory