Screen Time Exposure and the Development of Internalizing and Externalizing Problems in a Sample of Romanian Urban Highschoolers

Emanuel Adrian SÂRBU, Mihai-Bogdan IOVU, Florin LAZĂR, Cosmin GHEȚĂU


During the last years we have noticed an increase in screen time for adolescents while questions about its effects on the development of psychological and social problems are starting to be addressed. We hypothesized that increased screen time is associated with heightened display of internalizing and externalizing symptoms. We investigated this association on a sample of 2497 highschoolers recruited from one big city in southern Romania. They filled in a series of items focusing on screen time average exposure, display of depression and anxiety symptoms, involvement in aggressive and delinquent behavior, and family context. The linear regression model showed that, after controlling for individual and family variables, more screen time exposure is associated to heighten depression and anxiety symptoms and more involvement into aggressive behavior. These findings contribute to the research in this new area of interest and may inform the development of prevention and supportive programs for adolescents and their families by adding evidence for clarifying the relationship.  


internalizing problems, externalizing problems, screen time, adolescents

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