Young Children's Screen Time During the First COVID-19 Lockdown in 12 Countries

Christina Bergmann, Nevena Dimitrova, Khadeejah Alaslani, Alaa Almohammadi, Suzanne Aussems, Mihaela Barokova, Catherine Davies, Nayeli Gonzalez-Gomez, Shannon P. Gibson, Naomi Havron, Tzipi Horowitz-Kraus, Junko Kanero, Natalia Kartushina, Christina Keller, Julien Mayor, Roger Mundry, J.L. Shinskey, Nivedita Mani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Older children with online schooling requirements, unsurprisingly, were reported to have increased screen time during the first COVID-19 lockdown in many countries. Here, we ask whether younger children with no similar online schooling requirements also had increased screen time during lockdown. We examined children’s screen time during the first COVID-19 lockdown in a large cohort (n=2209) of 8-to-36-month-olds sampled from 15 labs across 12 countries. Caregivers reported that toddlers with no online schooling requirements were exposed to more screen time during lockdown than before lockdown. While this wasexacerbated for countries with longer lockdowns, there was no evidence that the increase in screen time during lockdown was associated with socio-demographic variables, such as child age and socio-economic status (SES). However, screen time during lockdown was negatively associated with SES and positively associated with child age, caregiver screen time and attitudes towards children’s screen time. The results highlight the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on young children’s screen time.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2015 (2022)
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2022


  • screen time
  • COVID-19
  • multi-country

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