Publication: Comparisons in Screen-Time Behaviours among Adolescents with & without Long-Term Illnesses or Disabilities

Research Impact: The study of sedentary time is an important area of study among children with disabilities. In this study from the 2013/14 WHO Collaborative Cross-national Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) Study, 15 countries included measures on self-reported long-term illnesses or disabilities (LTID). The cross-national comparison study looked at the differences in screen time behaviours (TV viewing, computer gaming, other computer usage) across the countries and between adolescents with and without LTID (n=61,329). The findings of the study support the notion that adolescents with LTID spent more time on screen time behaviours than their peers without LTID. In Ireland, a larger proportion of girls with LTID (than girls without LTID) spent two or more hours watching TV during the week days, but not during weekends. There were no statistically significant differences among Boys with and without LTID in TV viewing. In addition, the differences between adolescents with or without LTID in Ireland for computer gaming, or computing for other uses, were not statistically significant. At the European level, the differences were more noticeable. When combining previous work by Ng and colleagues (2017)1 on physical activity behaviours, the evidence suggests that adolescents with LTID take part in more health behaviours that are harmful for their health. Targeted interventions for adolescents with LTID are needed to reduce the health inequality gap between adolescents with and without LTID.

Ng, K.W., Augustine, L. and Inchley, J., 2018. Comparisons in Screen-Time Behaviours among Adolescents with and without Long-Term Illnesses or Disabilities: Results from 2013/14 HBSC Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2276.  DOI: 10.3390/ijerph15102276

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