Published: 2020-11-24

Mobile media uses and circumstances in which parents offer these devices to children: a cross sectional study in North India

Satish K. Meena, Singam Lakshmi Narsimha Reddy, Bhavna Anand, Manas P. Roy


Background: To look into circumstances in which parents offer mobile media to their children in an urban, low-middle income community from North India.

Methods: Cross sectional study, enrolled 354 children from 6 months to 12 years coming for a well visit or immunization, at a tertiary care hospital from August 2016 to July 2017. A study questionnaire adopted from zero to eight common sense media nationwide survey 2013, USA used to assess the circumstances in which parents offer mobile media to their children.

Results: A total of 354 children were enrolled in the study; 56.5% were male and 43.5% female. All of study population had access to handheld mobile devices (75% to smart phones, and 25% to ordinary mobile phones). The most common reason for offering mobile phone to children in all age groups was to console them while crying (73.7%). Other reasons were making them calm while travelling (42.9%), feeding the child (31.6%), and household chores (22.0%). YouTube was the most frequently used app in all age groups.

Conclusions: Reasons for offering mobile media devices by parents to their children seen in this study were actually avoidable. It is the ease of parents and lack of awareness regarding optimal media uses which leads to these circumstances.


Mobile phones, Smartphones, Children, Mobile media

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