Children are increasingly playing games on mobile devices.
The amount of time kids spend watching TV or playing electronic games may affect their well-being in early childhood, including mental health factors like their risk for emotional problems, a new study from Europe suggests.
For girls in the study, each additional hour spent playing electronic games or using a computer on weekdays at age 4 was linked with a two-fold increase in the risk of emotional problems at age 6.
And for both boys and girls, each additional hour of weekday TV watching was linked with an increase in the risk of poor family functioning (such as the child not getting along well with parents). [Too Much of a Good Thing? 7 Addictive Educational iPad Games]
However, the study did not look at whether parents watched TV with their children, and did not consider the content of the TV and electronic games the children played, all of which could affect the results.
Experts say that parental monitoring of children's media use may help mitigate some of the adverse outcomes seen in this and other studies, said Dr. Daniel Coury, a behavioral specialist at Nationwide Children's Hospital, who was not involved in the study.