Spanish scientists have confirmed how screen-based activities, specifically time watching television or playing video games, are negatively related to academic performance in children and adolescents.
Researchers from the LIFE group of the Universitat Jaume I (UJI), together with researchers from the Center for Social and Health Studies of the University of Castilla-La Mancha, concluded that there is a negative association between screen activities, specifically time watching television or playing video games, and academic performance in children and adolescents.
The study, which analyzed 5,599 scientific articles, suggests that this negative effect of time spent on the screen on academic performance seems greater in the case of the adolescence stage than in childhood.
However, it is not the total amount of time what is associated with a poorer academic performance, but the type of activities that are carried out, therefore it is important to study individually the results according to the screen activities performed.
Published in JAMA Pediatrics, the research emphasizes that each screen-based activity must be analyzed individually for its different association with academic performance. In particular watching television and playing videogames, appear to be the activities that most negatively influence the academic results.
The work analyzed the association of time and frequency of screen use (computer, internet, mobile, television, video games), with global academic performance indicators in the areas of language and mathematics.
“It is essential to take into account the content and purpose of the use of devices with a screen because both could strongly influence the analyzed association,” explains Mireia Adelantado-Renau, a researcher at UJI.
The team included in the systematic review 58 cross-sectional studies, of which 30 have been included in the meta-analysis, after having identified almost 6,000 studies published between 1958 and 2018. The studies chosen involved 480,479 participants from 4 to 18 years of age 23 countries. The work has been carried out following the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyzes) model.