Viewing of video-sharing platforms among preschool children: differences according to child characteristics and contextual factors

This article was originally published here

Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2022 Apr;25(4):230-236. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2021.0235.


Free video-sharing platforms such as YouTube are very popular with young children, but may contain low-quality and highly commercialized content. This study aimed to describe the prevalence, duration, and timing of objectively measured mobile YouTube viewing among preschoolers and to test hypotheses about associations with individual child differences and background factors. We analyzed mobile sample data from 349 English-speaking children aged 3 to 4.99 years whose parents responded to surveys of child, parent and household characteristics. We assessed whether the child ever viewed YouTube during the sample week and calculated the average daily duration in a subsample of 121 participants with their own mobile devices. We built multivariate logistic regression models to test the correlates of YouTube viewership and duration on mobile. The children were 3.82 years old (South Dakota 0.53), 74.6% non-Hispanic white; parents were mostly mothers (93.7 percent), 34.0 (South Dakota 4.6) years old and 37.9% had less than a university degree. Mobile viewing of YouTube (37.0% of children) was more likely among children who used Android devices, shared mobile devices with family members, were older, attended home daycare, or had parents with children. a low level of education. The median YouTube duration was 61.2 min/day, with longer durations among children whose parents had low levels of education. These results demonstrate that many young children use free video-sharing platforms on mobile devices for long durations, and this practice may be disproportionately higher among children of lower socioeconomic status. Longitudinal research is needed on viewing of video-sharing platforms and children’s outcomes.

PMID:35426731 | DOI:10.1089/cyber.2021.0235

Shirley K. Rosa