Almost half of Canadian parents concerned with time children spend on devices: study

Students Texting smartphones education

Nearly half of Canadian parents are concerned about the amount of time their children spend in front of a screen, according to a new Angus Reid study.

While 89 percent believe devices can be an educational tool, 46 percent are concerned, the report said.

Eighty-seven percent of Canadian parents who have children between the ages of two and 12 indicated that their child spends at least one hour a day using a device, the report said.

Parents also reported that student performance in areas relating to physical fitness, mental health, sociability and academic performance decrease when there is extended time spent on devices. In the case of reading ability, the report said that 68 percent of parents say their child does well when they spend less than one hour a day in front of a screen.

The report also noted that gender plays a role in the type of screen activity. For example, 35 percent of boys are more likely to use their devices for non-educational purposes, compared to 20 percent of girls. However, on the flip side, girls, specifically pre-teen girls, are more likely to use their devices for social interactions and communications.

To ensure children aren’t spending too much time on devices, 63 percent of parents say they regularly monitor what their child is watching and 60 percent of parents talk to their child about being careful online, the report said.

Angus Reid conducted an online survey from March 15th to 17th, 2019 and received information from 2,200 random Canadian adults that have at least one child between the ages of two and 12, the report said.

The online survey asked parents with more than one child, to only focus on one child for the purpose of the survey, it added.

The report noted that it had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points, 19 out of 20.

Source: Angus Reid