Media use, sports participation, and wellbeing in adolescence: cross-sectional findings
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Dr Cara L. Booker, Dr Alexandra J. Skew, Dr Yvonne J. Kelly and Dr Amanda Sacker

This research examines at the relationship between young people’s use of screen-based media and their wellbeing. Using data from the youth panel of the UK Household Longitudinal Study, conducted in 2009, it found that the majority of young people used multiple types of screen-based media for at least one hour per day, while only 30% participated in sports every day.

Young people with heavy screen-based media use were less happy than moderate users and more likely to have socioemotional difficulties. Chatting on social networking websites and game console use were associated with higher levels of socio-emotional problems. Greater participation in sports was associated with higher levels of happiness and lower levels of socioemotional difficulties.

The researchers concluded that further longitudinal research was necessary to inform future interventions to reduce inactive behaviour and encourage healthy lifestyles among young people.

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Dr Cara L. Booker, Dr Alexandra J. Skew, Dr Yvonne J. Kelly and Dr Amanda Sacker

Published by:
American Journal of Public Health

Date of publication:
January 2015

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Though not explicitly related to education, this research highlights the importance of balancing children’s screen time with healthy activities to reduce the risk of socioemotional difficulties, and may be of use of physical education teachers and professionals with pastoral responsibilities.


Analysis of data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study, a large-scale nationally representative study of the UK population.


Record ID:
R212 / 176
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