Portable Screen Time and Kindergarteners’ Attention with Content as a Potential Moderator

Kimberly B Vigil


Portable screens such as smart phones and tablets are a normal part of children’s everyday lives, yet excessive media use presents a multitude of health and developmental concerns. Specifically, the impact of portable screen time on children’s attention is unknown, and screen time could potentially result in negative outcomes including poor school readiness and social difficulties. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between portable screen time and kindergarteners’ attention (the first research question), and to investigate learning content as a potential moderator (the second research question). Data were collected using the Preschool and Kindergarten Behaviors Scale, 2nd Edition attention subscales and questionnaires on portable screen time and content, and analyzed via hierarchical multiple regression. Results included a significant relationship between screen time and attention, where, as screen time increased, attention decreased, and insignificant findings for a moderating relationship between screen time and content on attention. It was recommended that adults monitor children’s portable screen time to ensure attention is not compromised, and that screen time be utilized for educational purposes using quality programming. Recommendations for future research include studies which address portable screen time and learning content, structure/pacing, interactivity, and context of children’s screen time.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/fet.v2n3p141


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