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Prev Med. 2011 Feb;52(2):99-103. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.07.005. Epub 2010 Jul 14.

Screen time and risk behaviors in 10- to 16-year-old Canadian youth.

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School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada.



To examine television, computer, and video game use as possible determinants of multiple risk behaviors (MRB) among Canadian youth.


Results are based on the Canadian 2005/06 Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children Survey. This survey included a representative cross-sectional sample of 8215 youth in grades 6-10, and a 1-year longitudinal sample of 1424 youth in grades 9-10. Total hours per week of television, video games, and computer use were calculated and participants were grouped into quartiles. Six risk behavior variables (smoking, drunkenness, non-use of seatbelts, cannabis use, illicit drug use, non-use of condoms) were combined to form a MRB score. Ordinal and repeated measure logistic regression models were used to examine associations between screen time and MRB variables.


High computer use (top quartile) was associated with approximately a 50% increased engagement of MRB in both samples. High television use was also associated with modestly increased engagement in MRB in the cross-sectional sample.


High computer use was the screen time behavior that was mostly strongly and consistently associated with engagement in MRB. Future research is needed to understand the relationship between specific screen time behaviors and adolescent health to help strengthen current screen time guidelines for youth.

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