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Special Issue "Media Use during Childhood and Adolescence"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Digital Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Elena Bozzola
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. The Italian Pediatric Society, via Gioberti 60, 00185 Roma, Italy
2. Pediatric Department, Bambino Gesù Children Hospital, 00165 Roma, Italy
Interests: pediatric; infectious diseases; adolescence; children
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Alberto Villani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. The Italian Pediatric Society, via Gioberti 60, 00185 Roma, Italy
2. Pediatric Department, Bambino Gesù Children Hospital, 00165 Roma, Italy
Interests: pediatric; infectious diseases; adolescence; children; communication
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Alberto Eugenio Tozzi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Bambino Gesù Children Hospital; Italian Pediatric Society, IRCCS Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Rome, Italy
Interests: pediatric; public health; technology; social media
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The use of several different media by toddlers and adults is changing personal relationships and behaviors. A constellation of interactive apps, social networks, and video games is continuously offered to the general population and their use is constantly increasing in childhood. Young children frequently own a mobile device and are massively exposed to digital content. Adverse effects of early and prolonged exposure to digital technologies in pre-school children have been described in several studies. Since digital devices are used to construct a social identity and express personality, the age of initial use of social networks is dropping to 12–13 years. Moreover, problematic internet use is considered an important public health concern in specific groups, such as adolescents. Social network and smartphone use may be associated with learning difficulties, poor sleep quality, and ocular problems. Problematic smartphone use has been related to addiction, skeletal problems, muscle pain, sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical energy, and weakened immunity. Cyberbullying and Hikikomori phenomena are also becoming popular. Smartphones and the Internet have also been associated with several positive outcomes relevant to social interaction and communication, developmental and psychology features, and dexterity.

Dr. Elena Bozzola
Dr. Alberto Villani
Dr. Alberto Eugenio Tozzi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • media device
  • cyberbullying
  • adolescence
  • problematic use
  • addiction
  • mobile medical application
  • smartphone
  • social media
  • internet

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Media Use during Childhood and Adolescence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 967; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18030967 - 22 Jan 2021
Viewed by 846
Abstract
Media devices use among children and adolescents is rapidly increasing due to the small size, which allows mobility, interactivity, and easiness to benefit from free content and applications [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Media Use during Childhood and Adolescence)

Research

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Article
Protective Factors in the Use of Electronic Media According to Youth and Their Parents: An Exploratory Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3573; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18073573 - 30 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1013
Abstract
The use of electronic media (EM) by youths has been widely described in the literature, indicating the relevance of understanding the factors that can protect against its risks. We aimed to explore the protective role of participating in extracurricular activities (ECAs) and of [...] Read more.
The use of electronic media (EM) by youths has been widely described in the literature, indicating the relevance of understanding the factors that can protect against its risks. We aimed to explore the protective role of participating in extracurricular activities (ECAs) and of parental mediation in the use of EM by young people. A total of 1413 people (729 students, aged between 11 and 17 years old, and one of their parents) participated in this study. Youths who engaged in ECAs spent significantly less time per week on EM and perceived that the use of EM devices had less of a negative impact. When parents and their children presented a congruent notion of how much time youth spent on EM, parents perceived EM to have less of a negative impact on their children compared to dyads with discrepant assessments. The hierarchical regression results indicated that regardless of time spent per week on EM, engaging in ECAs was a significant predictor of perceiving a less negative impact, playing a role as a protective factor regarding the use of EM. The ubiquity of EM reinforces the importance of the focus of this study, and its results contribute to creating specific guidelines for parental education and educational policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Media Use during Childhood and Adolescence)
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Article
The Association between Symptoms of Nomophobia, Insomnia and Food Addiction among Young Adults: Findings of an Exploratory Cross-Sectional Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 711; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18020711 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1822
Abstract
No previous research has examined the association between symptoms of nomophobia and food addiction. Similarly, only a few studies have examined the association between nomophobia and symptoms of insomnia. This exploratory study utilized an online self-administered, structured questionnaire that included: basic sociodemographic and [...] Read more.
No previous research has examined the association between symptoms of nomophobia and food addiction. Similarly, only a few studies have examined the association between nomophobia and symptoms of insomnia. This exploratory study utilized an online self-administered, structured questionnaire that included: basic sociodemographic and anthropometrics; the nomophobia questionnaire (NMP-Q); the insomnia severity index (ISI); and the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) in a convenience sample of young adults (18–35 years) in Bahrain (n = 654), 304 (46%) males and 350 (54%) females. Symptoms of severe nomophobia, moderate-severe insomnia, and food addiction were more common among female participants both for each disorder separately and in combination; however, differences did not reach statistical significance. For severe nomophobia, the rate for females was 76 (21.7%) and for males was 57 (18.8%) p = 0.9. For moderate-severe insomnia, the rate for females was 56 (16%) and for males was 36 (11.84%) p = 0.1. For food addiction, the rate for females was 71 (20.29%) and for males was 53 (17.43%) p = 0.3. A statistically significant association was present between nomophobia and insomnia r = 0.60, p < 0.001. No association was found between nomophobia and food addiction. Nomophobia is very common in young adults, particularly in females; nomophobia is associated with insomnia but not with food addiction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Media Use during Childhood and Adolescence)
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Article
Information Technology Use and Cyberbullying Behavior in South Thailand: A Test of the Goldilocks Hypothesis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7122; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17197122 - 29 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1199
Abstract
There has been concern about the effects of high levels of internet use on the mental well-being of young people. This has generally been phrased in terms of a displacement hypothesis, that the extent of internet use and mental well-being are directly proportional. [...] Read more.
There has been concern about the effects of high levels of internet use on the mental well-being of young people. This has generally been phrased in terms of a displacement hypothesis, that the extent of internet use and mental well-being are directly proportional. This linear model has been contrasted with a Goldilocks Hypothesis, proposed by Przybylski and Weinstein. This supposes that moderate levels of internet use may be the least harmful, conforming to a curvilinear relationship. Here these hypotheses were tested on a sample of 1140 adolescents (42% boys, 58% girls) aged 12–18 years, in 12 schools from Southern Thailand. We first report levels of internet use, and of cybervictimization, taken as one important aspect of mental well-being. We then assess the relationship of four factors of internet use (frequency, time spent, number of places accessed, number of activities) with (a) being a victim of cyberbullying, and (b) being a frequent victim; taking these as indicators of mental well-being. For (a) there was limited evidence of a Goldilocks effect on two out of four measures. For (b) the evidence did support a Goldilocks effect for all four measures, but these were under-powered analyses and the findings did not reach statistical significance. If substantiated on larger samples, a curvilinear relationship between aspects of internet use and cyberbullying would suggest a ‘safe zone’ for adolescent internet use, bringing its benefits while minimizing risks of cyberbullying. In the future, similar research should use larger sample sizes or longitudinal measures when exploring nonlinear trends and include other aspects of mental well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Media Use during Childhood and Adolescence)
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Article
How Can Adolescents Benefit from the Use of Social Networks? The iGeneration on Instagram
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 6952; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17196952 - 23 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2596
Abstract
In the last few years, Instagram has been a topic of much contention, as it has been shown to be associated with both risks and benefits for young users. This study explores the influence of the use of Instagram on adolescents’ constructions of [...] Read more.
In the last few years, Instagram has been a topic of much contention, as it has been shown to be associated with both risks and benefits for young users. This study explores the influence of the use of Instagram on adolescents’ constructions of self and interpersonal experience. Forty Italian adolescents aged between 11 and 16 years were interviewed and completed repertory grids. The results showed that the adolescents’ self-construction and distance from others were mostly influenced by receiving, or not receiving, positive feedback, rather than by using Instagram itself. Specifically, there was an increase in self-acceptance and social desirability after receiving a “like” and an increase in social isolation after receiving no “likes”. The regression model also showed a decrease in self-acceptance on Instagram in the case of female adolescents, and in participants who edited photos. These findings are useful for understanding the constant need for approval adolescents require today and could be used as a guiding tool for future studies and intervention policies. The present study offers an innovative methodology that refers to the relevant dimensions of adolescents’ self-construction rather than investigating the more general relationship between personality traits and social networks’ use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Media Use during Childhood and Adolescence)
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Other

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Brief Report
Children and Adolescent’s Perception of Media Device Use Consequences
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3048; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18063048 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1404
Abstract
Media device (MD) use is increasing worldwide among children. Adolescents and young children spend a lot of time using MD, Internet, and social networks. The age of initial use is getting lower to 12 years old. The aim of this research is to [...] Read more.
Media device (MD) use is increasing worldwide among children. Adolescents and young children spend a lot of time using MD, Internet, and social networks. The age of initial use is getting lower to 12 years old. The aim of this research is to study children’s use and perception of MD. The Italian Paediatric Society (SIP) conducted a Survey on Italian children in collaboration with Skuola.net using an online questionnaire. A total of 10,000 questionnaires were completed. Children admitted they spend more than 3 h (41%), more than 2 h (29%), more than 1 h (21%) and less than 1 h (9%) daily. Problematic MD use has been found with children using MD before sleeping (38%), during school (24%), and at wake up in the morning (21%). Addiction was documented in 14% of adolescents. Among the reported consequences, low academic outcomes, and reduced concentration (24%), neck and back pain (12%), insomnia (10%), and mood disturbances (7%) were referred. Adolescents may have a low perception of the risks related to excessive MD. The duration of time spent using media devices is a main risk factor. In this context, parents should strongly discourage excessive MD use, mainly during school, at bedtime, and wake-up. Additionally, parents should be informed and start conversations with their children on the potential negative effects of prolonged MD use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Media Use during Childhood and Adolescence)
Case Report
Text Neck Syndrome in Children and Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1565; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18041565 - 07 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3261
Abstract
Neck pain is a prevalent health problem, largely reported in adult patients. However, very recent data show that new technologies are inducing a shift in the prevalence of this relevant issue from adulthood to all of the pediatric ages. In fact, the precocious [...] Read more.
Neck pain is a prevalent health problem, largely reported in adult patients. However, very recent data show that new technologies are inducing a shift in the prevalence of this relevant issue from adulthood to all of the pediatric ages. In fact, the precocious and inappropriate use of personal computers and especially cell phones might be related to the development of a complex cluster of clinical symptoms commonly defined as “text neck syndrome”. The purpose of this article is to analyze the new phenomenon of the “text neck syndrome”, the underlying causes and risk factors of musculoskeletal pain, that can be modified by changes in routine life, in different cultures and habits, and on the “text neck syndrome” as increased stresses on the cervical spine, that can lead to cervical degeneration along with other developmental, medical, psychological, and social complications. Findings support the contention that an appropriate approach for an early diagnosis and treatment is crucial to properly evaluate this emerging issue worldwide in children and adolescents who spend a lot of time watching smartphones and computers; additional research with more rigorous study designs and objective measures of musculoskeletal pain are needed to confirm significant relationships. Existing evidence is limited by non-objective measures and the subjective nature of musculoskeletal pain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Media Use during Childhood and Adolescence)
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Case Report
The Paradox of Tik Tok Anti-Pro-Anorexia Videos: How Social Media Can Promote Non-Suicidal Self-Injury and Anorexia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1041; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18031041 - 25 Jan 2021
Viewed by 6764
Abstract
The literature shows that social pressure promotes non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) Eating disorders, along with self-injury, are also favored by underregulated social media. Tik Tok is one of the most used social media platforms among adolescents. It has been shown that the time young [...] Read more.
The literature shows that social pressure promotes non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) Eating disorders, along with self-injury, are also favored by underregulated social media. Tik Tok is one of the most used social media platforms among adolescents. It has been shown that the time young children spend on this platform doubled during the lockdown. The theme of anorexia is very common on this platform. While most “pro-ana” (pro-anorexia) videos, where users exchanged advice on how to pathologically lose weight, have been censored by the application, other “anti-pro-ana” (anti-pro-anorexia) videos, officially aimed at raising awareness of the consequences of anorexia, have become increasingly popular. However, our case shows how even these safer videos paradoxically lead the users to emulate these “guilty” behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Media Use during Childhood and Adolescence)
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