41 Annals of Community Health JAN - MAR 2021 | Vol 9 | Issue 01 Is Excessive Screen Time a Problem among Rural Adolescents? A Cross-sectional Study in Four Schools of Magadi Taluk, Ramanagara District, South Karnataka

Pooja R S, Merlyn Joseph, Deign Maria John, Jessica John, Bhoomika Biradar, Christina Naidu, Avita Rose Johnson

Abstract


Background: Mobile phones and social media are a dominant force in the lives of adolescents and have even penetrated rural India.
There is evidence of adverse health effects of excess screen time. Objective: The objective of the study was to estimate screen
time and its associated factors among adolescents residing in a rural area near Bengaluru city. Methodology: Cross-sectional
study among school-going adolescents aged 10–19 years in four schools in villages of Ramanagara district. Questionnaire
administered to record sociodemographic details, family stressors, academic factors, and physical activity. Self-reported screen
time was assessed, separately for each type of screen-based device. Associations between excess screen time (>2 h daily)
and independent covariates was done using Chi-square test. Adjusted odds ratios with 95% confidence interval were
calculated using multiple logistic regressions. Results: Screen-based devices were used by 91.3% of rural adolescents, mostly
smartphones (63%), with purpose of gaming (56%) and social media (32.5%). Median daily screen time was 1 h (IQR=0.5, 2).
Excess screen time was found in 17%. Excessive screen time was 9 times more likely among those who lived in hostel than
at home (AOR=9.3[2.34–36.75], P = 0.002) and nearly 4 times higher among those who reported mental illness in the family
(AOR=3.6 [1.50–8.82], P=0.004). Conclusion: Screen time beyond the permissible limit was found in almost one in every
five rural-dwelling adolescents in our study, indicating a need for adolescents and their parents to be educated regarding the
dangers of excessive screen time, and the need to limit the access and use of screens at home.
Key words: Adolescents, India, Rural, Screen time, Screen use


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