European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 172, Issue 11, pp 1543–1545 | Cite as

Parental TV viewing, parental self-efficacy, media equipment and TV viewing among preschool children

  • Russell JagoEmail author
  • Simon J. Sebire
  • Mark J. Edwards
  • Janice L. Thompson
Short Communication


This study examined if parental TV viewing, parental self-efficacy or access to media equipment were associated with TV viewing among UK preschool-aged children. Data were derived from a cross-sectional survey of 252 parents of 3–5-year-old children. Parents reported child and parent TV viewing and the number of TVs, DVDs, computers, games consoles, hand-held games consoles, music players and laptop computers in the home. Parents also completed scales which assessed their self-efficacy to limit the screen viewing (SV) and promote the physical activity (PA) and their own PA self-efficacy. Analysis indicated that around two thirds of the children spent two or more hours per day watching TV while 75 % of parents watched ≥2 h of TV per day. Logistic regression models showed that children who had a parent who watched ≥2 h of TV per day were over five times more likely to also watch ≥2 h of TV per day. Each unit increase in parental self-efficacy to limit SV was associated with a 77 % reduction in the likelihood that the child watched ≥2 h of TV per day. Each additional piece of media equipment in the home was associated with a 28 % increase in the likelihood that parents watched ≥2 h of TV per day. Conclusion: Family-based interventions focusing on changing access to home media equipment and building parental self-efficacy to reduce child TV viewing could form part of efforts to reduce TV viewing among preschool children.


Screen viewing TV Parenting Self-efficacy Media equipment 



This study was funded by a small grant from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at the University of Bristol.

Conflict of interest

We have no conflicts of interest to declare.


  1. 1.
    American Academy of Pediatrics–Committee on Public Education (2001) Children, adolescents and television. Pediatrics 107(2):423–426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bandura A (2006) Guide for constructing self-efficacy scales. In: Pajares F, Urdan TC (eds) Self-efficacy beliefs of adolescents. IAP, GreenwichGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Biddle SJ, Pearson N, Ross GM, Braithwaite R (2010) Tracking of sedentary behaviours of young people: a systematic review. Prev Med 51:345–351PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Department of Health PA, Health Improvement and Protection (2011) Start active, stay active: a report on physical activity from the four home countries. Chief Medical Officers, LondonGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gorely T, Marshall SJ, Biddle SJ (2004) Couch kids: correlates of television viewing among youth. Int J Behav Med 11(3):152–163PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Grontved A, Hu FB (2011) Television viewing and risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis. JAMA 305(23):2448–2455. doi: 10.1001/jama.2011.812 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Jago R, Page A, Froberg K, Sardinha LB, Klasson-Heggebo L, Andersen LB (2008) Screen-viewing and the home TV environment: the European Youth Heart Study. Prev Med 47:525–529PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Jago R, Davison K, Thompson JL, Page AS, Brockman R, Fox KR (2011) Parental sedentary restriction, maternal parenting style and TV viewing among 10–11 year olds. Pediatrics 128:e572–e578PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jago R, Stamatakis E, Gama A, Marques V, Noqueira H, Mourao I, Padez C (2012) Parental and child screen-viewing time and home media environment. Am J Prev Med 43(2):150–158PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Marcus BH, Selby VC, Niaura RS, Rossi JS (1992) Self-efficacy and the stages of exercise behavior change. Res Q Exerc Sport 63:60–66PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Yi X, Yin C, Chang M, Xiao Y (2012) Prevalence and risk factors of obesity among school-aged children in Xi'an, China. Eur J Pediatr 171(2):389–394PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Russell Jago
    • 1
    Email author
  • Simon J. Sebire
    • 1
  • Mark J. Edwards
    • 1
  • Janice L. Thompson
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences, School for Policy StudiesUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  2. 2.School of Sport and Exercise SciencesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

Personalised recommendations