Volume 90, Issue 1 p. e56-e65
Empirical Article

Digital Screen Time Limits and Young Children's Psychological Well-Being: Evidence From a Population-Based Study

Andrew K. Przybylski

Corresponding Author

Andrew K. Przybylski

University of Oxford

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Andrew K. Przybylski, Oxford OX1 3JS, United Kingdom. Electronic mail may be sent to [email protected].Search for more papers by this author
Netta Weinstein
First published: 13 December 2017
Citations: 97


There is little empirical understanding of how young children's screen engagement links to their well-being. Data from 19,957 telephone interviews with parents of 2- to 5-year-olds assessed their children's digital screen use and psychological well-being in terms of caregiver attachment, resilience, curiosity, and positive affect in the past month. Evidence did not support implementing limits (< 1 or < 2 hr/day) as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, once variability in child ethnicity, age, gender, household income, and caregiver educational attainment were considered. Yet, small parabolic functions linked screen time to attachment and positive affect. Results suggest a critical cost–benefit analysis is needed to determine whether setting firm limits constitutes a judicious use of caregiver and professional resources.