Parental mediation and problematic media use among U.S. children with disabilities and their non-disabled siblings during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Abstract

During the COVID-19 pandemic, caregivers of disabled children have faced adverse conditions complicating their media use management (i.e., parental mediation). Disabled children and non-disabled children in a household may also have distinct cognitive, emotional, and physical needs requiring different parental mediation strategies. In this exploratory study, we surveyed U.S. parents (N = 123) with a disabled and non-disabled child between the ages of 5 and 13 to explore child differences in average hours spent watching media and playing games, problematic media use, and parental mediation during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic (Spring 2020–Spring 2021). Results suggest higher problematic media use for children with disabilities compared to their siblings without disabilities during the pandemic, with rates of problematic use primarily increasing or staying the same for both, but significantly more parental mediation of children without disabilities compared to those with disabilities. In the wake of the pandemic and spikes in children’s media use, screen time advice from health providers to households with both disabled and non-disabled children requires unique considerations to support healthy child media use.

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APA

Alper, M., Manganello, J., & Colvin, K. F. (2023). Parental mediation and problematic media use among U.S. children with disabilities and their non-disabled siblings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Children and Media, 17(2), 219–227. https://doi.org/10.1080/17482798.2023.2180045

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